Javier Alejandro Mascheranois an Argentine footballer who plays as a central defender for FC Barcelona and a defensive midfielder for Argentina national team. Mascherano came through the youth ranks at River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina before before making his club debut. Mascherano won his first silverware when River won the 2003–04 Clausura (Closing) championship. Mascherano joined Corinthians in mid-season and played a total of 26 games for the club. During the northern summer 2006 transfer window, Mascherano joined West Ham United for an undisclosed amount. At the beginning of 2007, he joined Liverpool on loan and made his debut for Liverpool against Sheffield United on 24 February 2007. He was runner up in the UEFA Champions League in his first season on Merseyside and again finished runner up in the Copa América with Argentina. He officially signed for Liverpool in February 2008 for £18.6 million. He won a second Olympic gold medal with Argentina in the Beijing 2008 Games and was considered a key part of the national side by past coach Diego Maradona who appointed him captain. He is also an Italian national which makes him eligible as an EU player.