Javier Alejandro Mascherano is a defensive midfielder from Argentina. He was born on June 8, 1984 in San Lorenzo, but he also holds an Italian passport due to his ancestry. Javier Mascherano has many nicknames, including his Argentinean nicknames Masche and Jefecito, as well as Tommy, the name his fans at Anfield, England call him.
Javier Mascherano made his international debut in the 2001 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Under-17 World Championship for Argentina and played as a part of the senior team in a friendly match against Uruguay in July 2003. He also played in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, in which Argentina finished fourth. In January 2004, he was one of Argentina’s Under-23 national squad players that won the South American Pre-Olímpico tournament in Chile.
Javier Mascherano earned his ticket to the 2004 Copa América and went on to be voted as the player of the tournament by his teammates. He has even represented the national team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In June 2005, Javier Mascherano participated in the Confederations Cup final against Brazil, and he played for his country in all the games at the 2006 FIFA World Cup as well. Javier Mascherano was named the best Argentine player of the senior squad in July 2007 for scoring his first two goals at the Copa América 2007. The team struck gold once again at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he became the first Argentine male footballer to win two Olympic golds ever.
His football career started with River Plate, an Argentine football club, in which he made his debut in August 2003 in a 2-1 win over Nueva Chicago. Javier Mascherano played in the 2003 Copa Sudamericana final and earned his first silverware at the 2003-04 Clausura (Closing) championship, where River Plate won. During 2005-06, he was acquired by Corinthians Paulista, a Brazilian club run by Media Sports Investment (MSI), and played 6 games for the club. Javier Mascherano then went on to sign with West Ham United during the 2006-07 season. In February 2007, he was added to the Champions League squad of Liverpool and debuted later that month against Sheffield United in a 4-0 win. He made his Champions League appearance in the quarterfinal first leg and then played in the Champions League final against AC Milan. On February 29, 2008, he ended his association with MSI by signing a four year contract with the Liverpool club. Javier Mascherano was voted Liverpool’s Man of the Match by the fans on the official website of the club. He scored his first Premier League and Liverpool goal on March 15, 2008, with a 25-yard strike against Reading F.C.
Javier Mascherano is known for his speed and stamina, even in the in final minutes of a game.