Javier Mascherano has had a pretty excellent career so far. The former Red made his mark at Anfield between 2007 and 2010. His move to Barcelona wasn’t the most amicable, but his contributions to the team (and to his national team, for whom he has heroically sacrificed key body parts) are undeniable. Now, with his time at Barcelona coming to an end, Mascherano wants to learn from his Liverpool departure and make sure he parts ways with his current club on good terms.
"I am predisposed to close [my career at Barcelona] on time because when I left Liverpool it wasn't good for me, and I didn't like it,” Mascherano told ESPN. “I didn't like having the feeling that I could go back to Liverpool and there was still something toxic there. And I don't want the same thing to happen to me at Barcelona."
Mascherano’s Liverpool exit came right after Rafa Benitez’s departure.
"It was a stormy summer for me. Rafa Benitez had left Liverpool and there was the possibility of going to Inter with him,” Mascherano said. “We were negotiating but things did not go the way we wanted. I already had the idea of leaving Liverpool.
"He was the manager who had bet on me when I did not know what to do at West Ham. When he left, I believed that it would not be the same and I needed to take a step forward.
"Negotiations with Inter did not progress, and 15 days before the end of the transfer window Barcelona contacted me. I fought for that. It was not the best way to leave. I did not like it, but it was my chance. A club like this is not going to come looking for you two years in a row. If you say no, they look for someone else. That's the reality. I fought for that and here I am."
There were (really silly) rumours floating around earlier this month about how a move back to Anfield may be in the cards for the defender. And sure, Mascherano seems a bit rueful about the way he departed the club. That still doesn’t mean we should entertain the idea of a return for a defender in his 30s, no matter how good he once was for us. But while Liverpool may not be the right next move for the player, here’s hoping his next step is a smooth one.