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Javier Mascherano: Welcome to Catalonia and to FC Barcelona

Manuel TraqueteSenior Analyst IAugust 29, 2010

Javier Mascherano has arrived in Catalonia and he is about to become a Barcelona player. He'll undergo his medical on Monday and then finally sign his new contract.

This is excellent news for all Barcelona fans, since the signing of Javier Mascherano will provide even more quality and depth to the squad.

Mascherano is regarded by many as the current best defensive midfielder in the world. He will add some much needed steal to the squad, something Sergio Busquets isn't able to provide yet.

It's safe to assume that Guardiola, known for his faith in Barcelona's youth players, is not going to bench Busquets permanently. Mascherano and Busquets should split minutes, but the Argentinian star is the logical option for matches against top teams (Real Madrid and the Champions League).

Judging by Guardiola's press conference today, Mascherano can also fill in for Xavi or Iniesta if necessary, which gives the team even more options. With Busquets, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, and Keita, Barcelona's midfield will always be a force to be reckoned with, regardless of who is on the pitch.

Besides, Thiago Alcantara and Jonathan Dos Santos, two incredibly talented youth players, can be called by Guardiola at any time and they will certainly step up to the occasion.

If Barcelona already had arguably the best squad in the world, the addition of Javier Mascherano makes them an even more powerful force. A lineup with Valdés, Abidal/Adriano, Puyol, Piqué, Daniel Alves, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, and Villa (with the likes of Maxwell, Milito, Keita, and Bojan on the bench) must be a frightening thought for every team and manager around.

Beating this Barcelona team seems like a near-impossible mission, both for Real Madrid and for every top European team.

As if any doubts remained, FC Barcelona is now officially the team to beat, both in La Liga and in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, arguably the laziest player ever to wear the blaugrana jersey, has left for AC Milan. I'll say what every Barcelona fan would like to tell Ibrahimovic: "Goodbye and may you never come back." After failing to perform at an acceptable level last season and causing problems off the pitch (along with his agent), Zlatan Ibrahimovic won't be missed at all.

Guardiola and all the Barcelona supporters expect and believe that Mascherano will whine less and run more (and thus perform better) than the aforementioned lazy Swede.

With the departure of Zlatan and the signing of Mascherano, this season promises to be another successful season in Barcelona's glorious history.

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