Lionel Messi, Kevin De Bruyne and more: Ex-Barcelona star Javier Mascherano builds his perfect footballer

Lionel Messi (left) and Kevin De Bruyne
Lionel Messi (left) and Kevin De Bruyne

Former Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has included aspects of his compatriot Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne as he built his perfect footballer. The 40-year-old played for Barca between 2010 and 2018.

Having seen Messi from close quarters, Mascherano has undoubtedly picked multiple aspects of him in his perfect player. However, the retired player also chose a few aspects from other players - both active and retired.

Here's what Mascherano told Mail Sport as he named the players for six attributes as he built his perfect player:

"Right foot: (Kevin) De Bruyne"
"Left foot: (Lionel) Messi"
"Heading: (Didier Drogba)"
"Speed: (Kylian) Mbappe"
"Aggression: (N'Golo) Kante"
"Genius: (Lionel) Messi"

Mascherano played a whopping 414 games with Messi for club and country - the most he played with any player during his playing career - with the duo combining for three joint goal contributions.

Unsurprisingly, most of those appearances came while the duo were together at Barcelona for eight seasons. Mascherano assisted two Messi goals for Barca and Argentina, with the latter returning the favour once.

Their last two joint goal contributions came in the 2016-17 La Liga, with the Blaugrana winning both games.

A look at Lionel Messi's record with Barcelona

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi
Barcelona legend Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is a bonafide Barcelona legend, scoring goals, providing assists and carving out records galore - both individual and collective - during his eventful 17-season stay at the club between 2004 and 2021.

In 778 games across competitions, the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner racked up impressive tallies of 672 goals and 303 assists - both record tallies by a Barca player - before leaving on a free transfer in the summer of 2021. Nearly one-third of those goals (211) came under the legendary Pep Guardiola in four seasons between 2008 and 2012.

Among multiple domestic and continental titles won by the current Inter Miami forward at the Camp Nou include a record 10 La Liga and four UEFA Champions League titles - with two of them coming as part of continental trebles (2008-09, 2014-15).

Quick Links

Edited by Bhargav
App download animated image Get the free App now