Thirty-three year-old Javier Mascherano remains one of Barcelona’s most effective players, so what would he do to an MLS XI?
We may find out, even if the longtime destroyer and current center back is calling Barca’s bluff via a Sport report out of Spain.
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According to it, Mascherano has two interests regarding his new contract: Go to Major League Soccer or stay at Barcelona… in that order?
Apparently, Mascherano has the Catalan club’s backing as well. Translated from Sport:
His desire is clear. If a franchise in the USA meets his demands, Barcelona will let him go. In the opposite case, he will continue at the club. Open doors and absolute willingness to comply with a player who has given his all to the club.
The Argentine star has collected trophies since coming to Barca from Liverpool, and remains an important part of his national team’s side.
Mascherano has been playing center back for club and country, and Barca has only lost one match with him in the lineup (the second leg of the Super Cup against Real Madrid).
He’s not an every week guy, but WhoScored rates only Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Sergi Roberto ahead of him. Per game, he’s behind only Messi according to Squawka.
Imagining a player like Mascherano, he of the 91 percent pass completion despite boasting the longest average pass on Barca, springing some freakish attackers in MLS is almost intoxicating (whether he’s playing defensive mid or center back).
Now imagine old pal Tata Martino and Atlanta United using its (possible) profit from a sale of Miguel Almiron or Hector Villalba to lead a move for Mascherano and, by extension, send players in on goal (We suppose LAFC, the Galaxy, and New York City FC wouldn’t hate the idea, either).