Mascherano: Why I Decided To Quit Barca
Javier Mascherano: Why I Decided To Quit FC Barcelona
Long-serving FC Barcelona player Javier Mascherano, who said farewell to the club on Wednesday night, has revealed why he decided to quit the Catalans.
Click through the gallery to see images of the Argentine's farewell!
The Argentine joined Barca from Liverpool in 2010, and went on to represent the club on 333 occasions over an eight-year period.
The 33-year-old has insisted that leaving Barca now was the right thing to do as he did not want to put the club in an awkward situation.
"The moment had arrived. I had to make this decision," Mascherano said, according to Sport.
"Time has been the biggest indicator that I was losing my importance in the team. It was making things more difficult. I didn't want to put the club in a difficult position, so this was the decision.
"Sometimes you have to accept the reality. I'm not the player I was. It's normal, natural. I needed to make this change. I didn't feel like I could revert the situation here. The quality of the centre backs in the team is so high.
"The hardest thing about playing for Barcelona is that you know that one day you will have to leave. I feel privileged, fortunate for everything I have been able to experience here.
"I never imagined I would stay here for so long and be part of the club's history."
Mascherano won 17 trophies during his time at Barca, including four LaLiga titles and two UEFA Champions Leagues.
Do you think the Argentine made the right call in leaving the club? Let us know in the comments section below.