Javier Mascherano to sign a new contract with Barcelona
Argentine defender Javier Mascherano will sign a new contract on Monday, that will keep him at Barcelona until 30 June 2019, the club confirmed via a statement released on the official website. This extension will result in a further two-year stay with the Catalan club, once his current contract expires at the end of next season.
Javier Mascherano moved to Barcelona from Liverpool in the summer of 2010, for £17.25 million. Having played 289 games for Barca, he has won 4 La Liga titles and 2 Champions League crowns, since making the switch over from England to Spain.
Having moved to Spain, Mascherano who was brought into the club as a holding midfielder from England has been converted to a centre back of sorts. A tough, rugged challenger with good passing technique, the Argentine has revelled at his new role Luis Enrique. Initially, many thought the move would back fire, but consistent dominant displays from the Argentine along with partner Gerard Pique, have proved he is a valuable asset, capable of handling the pressures that come as a central defender.
A former River Plate, West Ham and Liverpool player, Mascherano is the winner of two Gold Medals in 2004 and 2008 with Argentina. He is also the second most capped Argentine, just 12 caps away from taking over Javier Zanetti’s record for most appearances for the La Albiceleste’s.
Deportivo next at the Nou Camp for Mascherano and co
Before welcoming Manchester City and former manager Pep Guardiola to the Nou Camp in the Champions League in a fortnight’s time, the Catalans welcome Deportivo La Coruna in a must-win league fixture tomorrow night. With three games played at home this season in the league, Barcelona have managed to pick up just a single win coupled with a draw and a shocking loss to newly promoted side Alaves.
Teammate and Brazilian superstar, Neymar also claims that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is back to ‘perfect fitness’, ahead of the clash with Deportivo. Mascherano and co will need to be organised to avoid another slip-up, which will see the club drift further away from the top of the La Liga. Currently sitting in fourth, two points off the top, Luis Enrique cannot afford to drop points in what’s to be a challenging upcoming week.
Rivals and joint league leaders, Atletico Madrid host Granada on Saturday while Real Madrid travel to Real Betis.