Javier Mascherano: the accidental centre-back
Play • 47 min

The Athletic's Michael Cox and Ali Maxwell are joined by Argentinean football expert Rupert Fryer to celebrate the career of Javier Mascherano as he announced his retirement this week after an outstanding 17-year career.

We chart his career starting with the early days coming through at River Plate, his move to Corinthians in Brazil, that bizarre spell at West Ham before establishing himself alongside Gerrard and Alonso at Liverpool under Rafa Benitez.

Our focus then turns to his time at Barcelona where things really got interesting as Pep Guardiola, either by luck or design, converted him into a centre-back with surprisingly effective results.

There's also discussion of his storied exploits for Argentina, serial runners-up during his time with the national side but not without some memorable highlights along the way, chief among them that tackle on Arjen Robben in the World Cup 2014 semi-final, if you know, you know.

Sign up to The Athletic for just £1-a-week for access to Michael Cox's brilliant tactical analysis - simply head to theathletic.com/zonalmarking

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