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“That the people that you work with every day value you is the best motivation that you can have.” Words from Javier Mascherano that perfectly define his stature as a person and as a player at FC Barcelona during the farewell event held for the Argentinian at the Auditori 1899 at Camp Nou attended by president Bartomeu and first team players past and present.
The defender, visibly emotional, explained the reasons behind his decision to bring down the curtain on his seven and a half year career at FC Barcelona that saw him claim 18 trophies with the Club. “I fulfilled a dream coming to Barça and now it is time to wake up,” said Mascherano. “My time here lasted more than I thought, seven and a half spectacular seasons with a fantastic group in the dressing room,” he continued.
Mascherano did not highlight any particular trophy of the 18 he has claimed as a blaugrana but he did stress the important of his famous tackle on Niklas Bendtner in the Champions League quarter-final at Camp Nou against Arsenal. “That moment marked a before and after in my relationship with the fans. Up until then it had not been easy for me but that tackle gave me the confidence to bring things to the team. There are moments that are important to you and that one was an important positive for me,” revealed the Argentine.
More from Javier Mascherano:
The decision to leave
“I had been thinking about leaving for a while now. The passage of time was an indication. I was featuring less and less and that was becoming increasingly difficult for me. Before compromising the Club and it ending badly, I sought a solution so that we could end it in the best possible fashion. Finishing my time in the elite of world football at Barça makes me incredibly proud.”
Playing for Barça
“It has been a spectacular dream. It is a very special Club and I feel privileged to have been part of it. Barça is much bigger than you could ever imagine.”
A role model on and off the field
“I have never wanted to be a role model. I have simply tried to be myself and words go hand in hand with deeds. After seven and a half seasons I have been the lucky one to have formed part of this team which has made history.”
Future as a coach
“I am thinking about the future. I would like to try it, but now is not the time. I am grateful for the gesture by the board.”
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