Javier Mascherano opens up on ugly Liverpool exit and reveals he REFUSED to play vs Man City to seal Barcelona transfer

JAVIER MASCHERANO has opened up on his ugly Liverpool exit – revealing he REFUSED to play in order to seal a move to Barcelona.

The Argentine legend, 36, joined the Reds from West Ham in 2007 and quickly cemented his position as one of the world's best defensive midfielders.

But Mascherano has now admitted things weren't always rosey at Anfield.

The former Corinthians ace – who retired last year – claimed he REFUSED to play in a crunch game at Manchester City after Liverpool allegedly broke a promise to him.

Mascherano claims the Reds had agreed to let him leave the club should a 'decent offer' come in.

But after apparently going back on their word, the Argentine took matters into his own hands and went on strike – ultimately forcing a £22million move to Barcelona in 2010.

Mascherano told FourFourTwo: 'There was an agreement between us that if Liverpool received a decent offer for me, I'd be permitted to leave.

"We'd spoken about extending my contract, but it seemed like the directors didn't care about me.

"In the pre-season after Rafa [Benitez] left, Roy Hodgson arrived.

'We had a meeting with the managing director, Christian Purslow, who told me I could go if a good offer came in.


"Then there was an offer on the table, but Liverpool were looking the other way.

"I was quite angry that they weren't keeping their word."

Mascherano continued by saying sitting out a huge clash with Manchester City was his way to make his feelings clear.

The Argentine continued: "Refusing to play at City was the way I found to show my annoyance.

"I'd told the club I wanted to leave for family reasons, so I was very upset to have to act the way I did.

"There was no other option – otherwise, Liverpool wouldn't keep their promise."

Mascherano went on to win five LaLiga crowns and two Champions League trophies during his glittering, eight-year spell at the Nou Camp.

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