Barcelona defensive-minded utilitarian
We may not have won yesterday, but our lead in the standings has GROWN! pic.twitter.com/DN0D0lbosp— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 3, 2017
"During the 2010 World Cup I heard that Yaya Toure was leaving and that they were looking for a midfielder, so I told Leo that I would love to play at Barca", the ex-Liverpool and West Ham United man told Argentine magazine El Grafico.
HUGE RECORD IN SIGHT!— MESSISTATS (@MessiStats_) December 4, 2017
Messi (524 goals for Barcelona) is just TWO goals away from beating Gerd Müller's goalscoring record of most official goals for a single club in the top5 European leagues (525 goals for @FCBayern) pic.twitter.com/wWhCVF0IwU
"Leo spoke with Guardiola and Pep's response was: He's coming here, he's not going to play. How do I have the captain of the Argentine National Team in the bank?
"'You're going to get mad, Gaby Milito will get angry and we'll all end up fighting'. That's what Pep told Leo.
"I told Leo to explain to Pep that I was not like that, that I was not going to make him look bad, that it was not about making problems with the coaches.
“At that moment Inter's interest appeared with Rafa Benitez, who had directed me in Liverpool, and he could not take me.
⚽️ 361 goals— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 4, 2017
Lionel Messi has played a part in 500 LaLiga goals! pic.twitter.com/mxgbIv9abY
"A time passed and one of those circumstances that changed your life forever: in August, Barcelona lost the first final of the Supercopa with Sevilla, without the Spanish world champions, and it turned out to be the Pep's last touch of conviction to take me, so answering your question: Leo influenced a lot [for me] to go to Barca."
But Mascherano also revealed that things could have been very different, and that Barcelona's fiercest rivals Real Madrid also showed interest in his signature earlier in his career.
Someone vandalised Messi’s bronze statue in again. pic.twitter.com/s884jPYTX3— M•A•J (@UltraSuristic_) December 4, 2017
"I do not know how close, but there was a contact from the sports director with my representative in 2004, when he was at the Olympics in Athens, and I do not know what happened", he added.