Mascherano admits Barca blow
Javier Mascherano has admitted his form was affected by last summer's talks of a move to Barcelona.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 17/05/10 6:10pm
Javier Mascherano has admitted his form was affected by last summer's transfer talks over a move from Liverpool to Barcelona.
And the Argentina captain has left the door open again for Barca by saying it's "a shame" for himself and his family that he did not secure a move to the Catalan capital.
The 25-year-old midfielder was in talks over joining the Spanish champions but a switch did not materialise.
He then made a slow start to the season with Liverpool and although he finished the campaign strongly, it was an ultimately disappointing year for the Reds as they finished seventh.
Rafa Benitez signed him on a four-year deal in February 2008 after joining on loan from West Ham a year earlier, but Mascherano could be leaving early after hinting he would still welcome a move.
"The situation with Barcelona really affected me, " he told the Liverpool Echo.
"It was a shame it didn't happen as it was the city where I wanted to live.
"There were many discussions and problems during that month-and-a-half. They were difficult times for me. One day I was off to Barcelona, the next I wasn't, and Liverpool said I was non-transferable.
"Psychologically, it affected me as I couldn't think in Liverpool and I was focused on other stuff and not on my work, my training and playing.
"Also, we were having problems with Argentina as our qualification to the World Cup was in danger. There was a lot of complicated stuff at that time."
Mascherano insists he is happy with life in England but his wife is finding it hard to settle.
"I have no problem living in Liverpool, " he said. "But my wife and daughters deserve to enjoy every day to the full and live their lives, but they have to be home all day.
"My wife doesn't speak a word of English so she depends 100 per cent on me. I live here with them. That's my world, that's my life. "