Monday, August 18, 2008

Javier Mascherano

Javier Mascherano (20)

Full Name: Javier Alejandro Mascherano
Position: Midfield Center
Squad number: 20
Date of birth: 08/June/1984
Birth place:San Lorenzo, Sante Fe, Argentina
Former clubs: West Ham United
Transfer Fee: £18300000 from MSI Investments
LFC 1st team games: 62
LFC 1st team goals: 1
Argentina International caps: 44
Argentina International goals: 2
Previous Clubs: River Plate, Corinthians, West Ham United

Javier Mascherano Profile

Midfield enforcer Javier Mascherano signed from West Ham in February 2007.

Since then his dynamic style has established him as a Kop favourite and one of the first names on Rafa Benitez's teamsheet.

The Argentinean has quite a pedigree having come through the ranks at South American giants River Plate. Such was his potential that he earned his first international call-up before kicking a ball for his club.

Having already represented his country in the FIFA Under-17 Championships, Mascherano made his senior debut against Uruguay in July 2003.

The following summer saw him compete in the Copa America. Argentina lost the final to Brazil on penalties but Mascherano was voted player of the tournament by his teammates. A month later he and his countrymen won Olympic gold in Athens.

By this stage, the youngster had accrued quite a fan club, including one of the greatest players of all time. Diego Maradona described him as "a monster of a player destined for great things."

Mascherano joined Brazilian club Corinthians in July 2005, helping them to win the Campeonato Brasileiro in his first season.

From there he travelled to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where his performances led to links with several of Europe's top clubs.

It was West Ham who eventually clinched Mascherano's signature alongside compatriot Carlos Tevez in August 2006, though his time in east London was troubled at best.

After featuring just seven times in six months, he jumped at the opportunity to try his luck on Merseyside.

Despite the presence of Momo Sissoko, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, the new boy quickly established himself as a regular in the Liverpool midfield.

Mascherano made his debut against Sheffield United on February 24, 2007 and three months later won fans' man of the match for his performance in the Champions League final.

While goals are not his forte, he did bag two in the summer of 2007 to help Argentina win the Copa America. A first for Liverpool arrived against Reading in March 2008.

Five months later Mascherano won a second Olympic gold in Beijing.

What he lacks in height, he makes up for in power, and the sight of our number 20 thundering across the field to recover possession is as familiar to the Kop as a Fernando Torres goal or a last-ditch tackle from Jamie Carragher.

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