Javier Alejandro Mascherano is an Argentine professional footballer who currently plays for the Chinese club Hebei China Fortune. Born on 8th June 1984, the right-footed player is known for his versatile and tactically intelligent as he plays both as Centre-back and Defensive midfielder.
He was born in San Lorenzo and is popularly known as "El Jefecito" by his teammates. He was FC Barcelona’s Player of the Season in the 2013-14 season.
Born in San Lorenzo, Santa Fe, Mascherano came through the youth ranks at River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He started his career at 1999 and spent his time academy and spent his time for 4 years before signing a professional career with them in 2003.
On September 2001, He made his first international appearance as he played on the Argentina team who secured the fourth place in the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship
Surprisingly, he made his International debut before making his club debut. On 16th July 2003, He made his debut in a friendly against Uruguay. Halfway through the 2003–04 Apertura championship, he was called up for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship where he was instrumental in Argentina's fourth-place finish.
He signed a contract in the 2003 midseason and won the 2003–04 Clausura championship. River Plate lost the 2004-Copa Libertadores after failing to go through the semi-finals losing on penalties to Boca Juniors. He went on to represent in 71 matches scoring a sole goal for the club in a Continental Cup.
Rise to glory
After a successful debut season with club and country, many clubs like Real Madrid were interested in the player but River Plate was reluctant to not let go of their prized asset.
But after a disappointing season where they finished third in the Apertura Championship, Brazilian outfit Corinthians acquired his services for a reported £10.62m million.
After joining Corinthians in the mid-season, he featured in only 9 matches followed by a long injury spell but still, the team went on to win the 2005 Série A championship.
He made a total of 33 appearances for the club before moving to English Club West Ham United for £13.14m.
West Ham was struggling in the league and wasn’t successful in holding on to him as he made his move to Liverpool after just 7 appearances for the club.
He played 4 seasons for the club at the Merseyside where he didn’t win a cup or an individual recognition but was held in high esteem by the Liverpool fans, who gave him his own song.
He made 139 appearances for the club finding the net twice.
The move to Barcelona has been his best decision as he made his move on on 28 August 2010.
He was a rock in the back line as Barcelona continued to dominate the La Liga. They won the 4 La Liga titles, 4 Copa del Rey, 3 Supercopa de España, 2 UEFA Champions League and a UEFA Super Cup in 7 seasons.
On 24th January 2018, he signed for the Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune as he reached the latter end of his career.
On 23rd March 2008, in his first match at Old Trafford, he was forced to leave the field by his clubmates Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Rafael Benítez to leave the pitch.
On 19th December 2009, Mascherano was sent off for committing a bad foul on Portsmouth's Tal Ben Haim.
He came through the youth ranks of River Plate and signed his first professional contract
After making 71 appearances, he moved to Corinthians in 2005. He won the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 2005 and made his move a season later to English side West Ham United along with Carlos Tevez.
He played 7 matches and after a dispute with Liverpool, West Ham was forced to let him go on free in February 2007 after a special request was made by Liverpool to bring him to Anfield.
He then moved to Barcelona in 2010 after £18.00Million deal was reached between the clubs. He played seven and half seasons for the Blaugrana before moving to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune on 24th January 2018.