Javier Mascherano was presented as an FC Barcelona player on August 30, 2010 after the authoritative midfielder completed his move from Liverpool, where he had been established as a major star.
The 'Little Chief', as the Argentinian is affectionately known, is a player who has earned the respect of all wherever he has played. He made his professional debut under Manuel Pellegrini at River Plate, curiously enough after already having made his international debut for Argentina in a game against Uruguay.
After impressing with River for two seasons Mascherano moved to Corinthians in Brazil and won the league title. That form alerted European clubs and he was on the move once again when West Ham United secured his services. The London club bought him and his Corinthians team-mate Carlos Tévez for a combined fee of $35 million.
In January 2007 he moved again, this time to Liverpool, but missed out on the Champions League win over FC Barcelona that spring. At Anfield he formed a lethal midfield trio alongside Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. During his three-and-a-half years at the club, Liverpool reached the Champions League final but failed to win any silverware. Mascherano was hungry for trophies and sensed it was time to move on.
On August 30, 2010 Mascherano signed a four-year contract with FC Barcelona, where he was signed to bolster the centre of midfield alongside Busquets and Touré, before the latter departed for Manchester City.
Due to the many injuries suffered by team-mates, the Argentinian progressed from a supporting role to being a central component of the first eleven in his first season. At first he was an alternative for Busquets in midfield, but with Puyol, Milito and Abidal all sidelined, he slipped back into defence and proved excellent in that position, which is where he played when winning his first Champions league winner medal at Wembley.
The 2011/12 season saw Javier Mascherano once again demonstrating his versatility as cover for injured absentees. Mainly playing at centre back, he played a magnificent part in the successful assaults on the Spanish Supercup, European Supercup, Clubs World Cup and Copa del Rey. He made 52 appearances and was consolidated as a regular member of the starting line-up.
Mascherano is the only Argentinian player to have won two gold medals at the Olympic Games. After securing his first at the games in Athens in 2004 he then helped his country to further success at Beijing 2008, where he played alongside Lionel Messi. The two Barça players also appeared together for Argentina at the World Cup Finals in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, where the South Americans went out in the quarter finals on both occasions.
2012/13 FC Barcelona 2011/12 FC Barcelona 2010/11 FC Barcelona 2009/10 Liverpool 2008/09 Liverpool 2007/08 Liverpool 2006/07 West Ham 2005/06 Corinthians 2004/05 River Plate 2003/04 River Plate