On This Day in 2010: Liverpool agree to sell Javier Mascherano to Barcelona

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Liverpool agreed to sell Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano to Barcelona on this day in 2010.

Mascherano had joined Liverpool three-and-a-half years earlier from West Ham, his short spell at Upton Park clouded by reports that he and countryman Carlos Tevez were under third-party ownership.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was keen to add Mascherano to a powerful midfield which already included Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso.

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Final – AC Milan v Liverpool – Olympic Stadium
Javier Mascherano (left) tackles AC Milan’s Kaka during the 2007 Champions League final (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mascherano made 139 appearances for Liverpool and won a Champions League runners-up medal there in 2007.

His initial loan deal in February 2007 was turned into a four-year contract in 2008 when he ended his association with Media Sports Investments.

But Benitez left Liverpool in June 2010 and Mascherano – who had constantly complained his family had not settled in England – told new manager Roy Hodgson after that summer’s World Cup that he wanted to leave the club.

Mascherano completed his long-awaited transfer to Barcelona three days after Liverpool had accepted a £17.25million offer from the Catalan club.

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Final – Barcelona v Manchester United – Wembley Stadium
Mascherano won the Champions League twice at Barcelona (Sean Dempsey/PA)

“Liverpool Football Club have agreed terms for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to FC Barcelona,” said a Liverpool statement.

“The Spanish club have now been given permission to speak to the Argentina midfielder.”

Barcelona added: “The agreement was reached after considerable effort from the club over the last few hours and the willingness and desire of the player to make the move.”

Mascherano, 26 at the time and captain of Argentina, went on to have a glittering career at Barcelona, where he regularly played as a centre-back.

Soccer – FIFA World Cup 2014 – Semi Final – Netherlands v Argentina – Arena de Sao Paulo
Mascherano won 147 caps for Argentina, second only in his country’s history to Lionel Messi (Mike Egerton/PA)

He was a Champions League winner under Pep Guardiola in his first season at the Nou Camp and won the competition again in 2015.

Mascherano also won five LaLiga titles, five Copa del Reys, three Spanish Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups and two UEFA Super Cups.

He made over 200 league appearances for Barcelona before moving to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune in January 2018.

Mascherano ended his playing career in Argentina with Estudiantes and announced his retirement in November 2020, having won 147 caps for his country.

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