Javier Mascherano has lashed out at Roy Hodgson and has revealed that failed promises at Anfield forced him to leave Liverpool and join Barcelona.
The 29-year-old signed for the Catalan club in the summer of 2010, the year which Hodgson replaced Rafael Benitez as the manager of the Merseyside club. The Spaniard signed Mascherano from West Ham United in 2007 and was a key player in Liverpool's starting XI under his reign.
Mascherano returned to the pre-season with the Reds in 2010 and had held several meetings, where the club had made promises to him. He claims the promises were never fulfilled, which led to his departure from Anfield.
The Argentina international's departure from Anfield has seen him receive criticism from Liverpool fans and the player had remained silent until now. The former Reds midfielder claims that the respect he has for Liverpool forced him not to respond to the criticism.
"I didn't want to say anything at the time because of my respect for Liverpool. Maybe that was a mistake because it allowed other people to say bad things about me. But I do not regret it," Mascherano told the Times.
"Liverpool is a special club and it does not deserve to be treated badly. The people who were there at the time – the manager [Roy Hodgson] 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," the former Liverpool midfielder said.
Mascherano returns to English shores with his current employers as Barcelona take on Manchester City in the Champions League fixture on Tuesday evening.