There was a controversy when Javier Mascherano first came into English football with Carlos Tevez and signed for West Ham.
The deals came about in a surprising manner as the Hammers beat a host of Europe’s top clubs to their captures.
Yet burning away was an ember that refused to go out – it turned out that both Argentinians were tied to third-party ownership deals, something that is still against Premier League rules.
Mascherano went on to ply his trade at Liverpool, joining the Reds in a £20million transfer ahead of the 2008/09 Premier League season. Two years later an £18million deal took him to Spain and world football giants Barcelona.
It was here that the 147-cap Argentine international converted into a central defender, leaving the Nou Camp in January 2018 after an eight-year stint at the Catalan giants.
However, it’s amazing how far the lure of Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa stretches. The Argentine coaching legend, who gave a 19-year-old Mascherano his international début in a 2003 friendly against Uruguay, has only been at Leeds United for 12 games – but he’s already leaving his mark.
His high-press football has been adopted throughout the ranks at Elland Road, a style of football that some are terming BielsaBall. Whilst injuries have taken some of the gloss off of Leeds United’s performances of late, the Whites early form was sparkling.
His presence is felt beyond the confines of Elland Road, it has reached as far as Mascherano, who retweeted a clip of one of Bielsa’s Leeds United pressers (below):
Don Marcelo 👏 https://t.co/OIfRiFSB5g
— Javier Mascherano (@Mascherano) October 16, 2018
Mascherano’s RT was accompanied with a very simple message: Don Marcelo – which translated into English is roughly equivalent to Lord Marcelo.
The presser he RTd, is one in which Bielsa loses and confuses his translator Salim Lamrani over the Bielsa being termed as an obsessive. What the Leeds United manager was saying was that he despises the term obsessive as it moves him away from perfection.
There’s certainly a growing movement amongst Leeds United fans that points to them agreeing with Javier Mascherano – Marcelo Biesla is definitely taking on the persona of a Lord amongst mere men.