Javier Mascherano is one of the last great players to emerge from the junior ranks of River Plate, and was outstanding in a position previously occupied by the greatest heroes of that famous club, such as Americo Ruben Gallego, Reinaldo Carlos Merlo, Leonardo Astrada and Matias Almeyda.The career of this talented midfielder initially followed the same path of his countryman Carlos Tevez. He shone in a great Argentine club (winning two league titles with River), was transferred to Corinthians of Brazil and then to West Ham in England, just like the former Boca player. However, after enduring a miserable time at Upton Park, he was transferred to Liverpool where he finally found some solidity and consistency during a three year spell, before opting to move on and join Spanish side Barcelona in August 2010 for around £17 million. One of the stars of the Argentine national team, he captains the side and has won two gold medals in the Olympic Games: one in Athens 2004 and the other in Beijing 2008. Strengths: His engine and ability to break up play and win the ball make him a key midfielder. His distribution, while unspectacular, is accurate. Weaknesses: Lacks accuracy in his shooting at goal and has a limited passing range and questionable temperament. Career high: He was one of the cornerstones in the midfield of the Argentine team that grabbed gold at the 2004 Olympics. Career low: His stint with West Ham, where he played very little. Style: Competitive, fierce, a ball winning midfielder. Quotes: "Mascherano and ten other guys," was Maradona's answer when asked about the names on his teamsheet. Trivia: Debuted for the Argentine national team before making his debut in the Argentine first division for his own team.
SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN