Former Liverpool and Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has spoken out on how he ended up leaving Anfield for the Nou Camp back in 2010.
The Argentine is one of the finest defensive players of his generation, having been a star player for both Liverpool and Barcelona during his peak years.
However, Mascherano caused some controversy with the manner of his move from Liverpool to Barcelona, though he insists he remains a big Reds fan.
“On one side I honestly do, as Liverpool fans weren’t happy with me at all and I completely understood why,” he told FourFourTwo. “On the other hand, the board at the time had promised me something and weren’t keeping their word.
“There was an agreement between us that if Liverpool received a decent offer for me, I’d be permitted to leave. We’d spoken about extending my contract, but it seemed like the directors didn’t care about me.
“In the pre-season after Rafa (Benitez) left, Roy Hodgson arrived. We had a meeting with the managing director, Christian Purslow, who told me I could go if a good offer came in. Then there was an offer on the table, but Liverpool were looking the other way.
“I was quite angry that they weren’t keeping their word. Refusing to play at City was the way I found to show my annoyance. I’d told the club I wanted to leave for family reasons, so I was very upset to have to act the way I did. There was no other option – otherwise, Liverpool wouldn’t keep their promise.”
We’re not sure how the club’s supporters will feel about this, but it’s interesting to hear more from Mascherano’s side of the story all these years later.
One can only imagine how good Liverpool could have been if they’d kept Mascherano, who went on to win two Champions League titles and a number of other major honours during his time at the Nou Camp.
Liverpool later ended up losing other star players to the Catalan giants, with Luis Suarez joining them in 2014 and Philippe Coutinho in 2018.