In an emotional encounter, Argentine defender, Javier Mascherano has officially said good bye to his Barcelona teammates at the club’s 1899 Auditorium which was also attended by former teammates Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal.
Present were the players and coaching staff crowded into the first few rows, flanked by a panoply of Club directors, other officials, and local and international media.
The former players Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal, who Mascherano cited as among the torchbearers who showed him the way upon arriving from Liverpool in the summer of 2010, were there as well.
Decision to Leave
In an official exit programme organised by the board of the La liga leaders, Mascherano said good bye to his playing mates in tears,“If anyone has been fortunate, it has been me,” he said, moments after being shown a video in which his Barça teammates, one by one, gave him their thanks and described, in personal detail, the litany of positive traits, values, and characteristics that made Mascherano so revered in the locker room.
“[The dream] lasted longer than I ever would have imagined,” Mascherano continued. “But the time came to say goodbye, and leaving with all this love is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone.”
“That the people that you work with every day value you is the best motivation that you can have.” Words from Javier Mascherano that perfectly define his stature as a person and as a player at FC Barcelona during the farewell event held for the Argentinian at the Auditori 1899 at Camp Nou.
“I had been thinking about leaving for a while now. The passage of time was an indication. I was featuring less and less and that was becoming increasingly difficult for me. Before compromising the Club and it ending badly, I sought a solution so that we could end it in the best possible fashion. Finishing my time in the elite of world football at Barça makes me incredibly proud.” Mascherano emphasized.
Service and Honours
The fearless Argentinian defender who came to Barça in 2010 in search of a dream that he has long since fulfilled — opened up his heart and spoke the words of a wise, battle-hardened leader.
The 33 years old went on to talk abut the changes the dressing room has experienced with respect to time, “Puyol, Xavi and Valdés set the pace for everything, they’ve left now too but they transmitted the club’s values to the rest of the team. That is the big secret behind Barça – live each day with happiness and get maximum enjoyment out of playing football. These past seven and a half years have passed so quickly, for all of the great times we’ve been through”. Mascherano explained.
He has won 18 major trophies for the seven and half years he spent with the club; two UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Super Cups, Two FIFA World Club Championships, four league trophies, four Copa del Rey Cups and four Spanish Super Cups.
Javier Mascherano, who will continue his career in the Chinese Super League with Manuel Pellegrini’s Hebei China Fortune