Mascherano no stranger to big matches
Javier Mascherano has experienced games between big rivals in the three countries he has played and even an Argentina v Brazil. So he is well groomed for Barça v Madrid.
Mascherano’s first taste of such a game was none other than River Plate v Boca Juniors.
Having come up through the ranks of the Millonarios, from 2003 to 2005 he got first hand experience
of the Buenos Aires derby. “River v Boca were the most special clásicos I have played so far.
It’s where I was born and bred as a footballer” he said.
Brazil and England
moved to Brazil, to join Corinthians, where in 2005/06 he faced their big city rivals, Palmeiras,
three times. Then in England, he played six games for Liverpool against their northwest enemies,
Manchester United. “They perhaps got more media attention than the others, but there’s
a lot of rivalry because the cities are so close together and because they are the two biggest
clubs in the Premier”.
Now Javier Mascherano is preparing for the biggest match in Spain. “Everyone is talking
about it, because of the quality of the players, because the teams are playing so well, but we then
players tend to forget how lucky we are to have everybody watching us … I just want to enjoy
it as much as I can”.