Javier Mascherano has criticised Liverpool’s owners and says they will “never understand” the club because they are “never there”.
Mascherano, who spent almost four years at Anfield from 2007-10, says Liverpool “belongs to the people” and with Fenway Sports Group based “20,000 miles away” in the US they will never develop an affinity with the club.
“Liverpool is a club where you need to be there to enjoy it. It’s not worth owning Liverpool if you are going to always be 20,000 miles away,” Mascherano told The Independent. “It’s a club that belongs to the people. And you will never understand that if you are never there.”
Those words come on the back of FSG’s recent U-turn over ticket prices at Anfield. Principal owner, John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and FSG’s president Mike Gordon were forced into making an apology over their proposals to increase tickets prices at Anfield.
The 31-year-old also says, despite his affinity for Liverpool, he would not definitively rule out playing for another Premier League side. Asked if he was expecting a call from new Man City boss Pep Guardiola, he replied, whilst laughing: “No, no, Pep is not going to call me. He will not call me, no, no, no.
“But returning to the Premier League? I don’t know. My feeling for Liverpool does not mean I’m tied to them. If in the future a Premier League team was interested in me and I had the chance to go back, you can’t say: ‘No, I would only play for one team’. I don’t know what I would do.”
The Barcelona centre-back, who has won La Liga three times and the Champions League twice, as well as two Copas del Rey, also believes Jurgen Klopp is the right man for Liverpool.
“Klopp is a coach for Liverpool. He is very much of the people. He likes to get close to people and that is what the people of Liverpool are like. I always say that nowhere have I been treated as well as I was treated there.”
Mascherano, who admits that it’s the players that come up from La Masia that pass on the Barca culture, also revealed his thoughts about Barca’s famous midfield and the midfield he played in at Liverpool – alongside Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso.
“It’s difficult. I was there to contain and to offer balance; Xabi was there to distribute and Stevie was there to distribute as well but also to arrive in the area and finish. That Liverpool team played some very good football. It was one of the best sides I played in,” added Mascherano.