Mascherano: Broken promises behind Liverpool departure

The Argentine, who returns to England to take on Manchester City in the Champions League with Barcelona on Tuesday, has revealed the reasons behind his Anfield exit in August 2010

Javier Mascherano has revealed he was misled by Liverpool in the build-up to his acrimonious move to Barcelona in the summer of 2010.

The Argentine’s reputation with Reds fans was left tainted by reports he refused to play in a match against Manchester City in order to force through a move to Camp Nou.

But Mascherano denies those claims, and insists it was the Liverpool hierarchy who were to blame for the confusion surrounding his departure.

“I didn’t want to say anything at the time because of my respect for Liverpool,” he told The Times.

“Maybe that was a mistake because it allowed other people to say bad things about me. But I do not regret it.

“Liverpool is a special club and it does not deserve to be treated badly. The people who were there at the time – the manager and Christian Purslow – have now gone but they know the truth.

“When I went back to Liverpool for pre-season I had a lot of meetings with them and they were promising a lot of things to me but never kept their word.

“I did not wake up one day and refuse to play. In the game before [Manchester] City we played against Arsenal and I gave everything because I was wearing the Liverpool shirt.

“Why would I do that and risk getting injured when I knew that Barcelona were close to signing me and then refuse to play in another game? That doesn’t make any sense.

“We had been talking about completing the transfer for 20 days because the club also wanted to make it happen, but then they started to make things difficult for me.”

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Mascherano also expressed regret that his fallout with Hodgson and Purslow prevented him from bidding a proper farewell to the Anfield faithful.

“The people treated me really well and I would never want to let them down,” he added. “I wanted to leave in another way, but they didn’t give me the chance to.

“That is the truth. It left me with a bad feeling. My time at the club was over and I needed to move on, but I also needed to leave the club in a good way and that wasn’t allowed to happen.”

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