Mascherano: Liverpool saved my career

Javier Mascherano admits Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez saved his career after signing him in January from West Ham United.

He said: "I think this is because the manager has confidence in me - it is very important. Rafa has helped me a lot.

"I was not playing at West Ham, but he came to London and he told me I could play for Liverpool - told me I could play in a good team. He said he needed me. When you are not getting a game for West Ham and the Liverpool manager is talking about you, you can't believe it. It is for this reason I am very happy here.

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"I arrived at West Ham and was in another country with another language and a different culture. I couldn't believe what was happening. In six months at West Ham I'd played five or six games.

"It was very difficult for me to even go to training everyday, because I knew no matter what I would never play. The situation was very difficult.

"Then when I arrived here I still thought it was going to be very difficult for me to play, because Liverpool were one of the biggest clubs in the world and they already had Momo Sissoko, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso in the midfield.

"When I got my opportunity, all I could do was try to do my best, but it was easier because I knew the people here rated me.

"It's a lot easier here because the manager is Spanish. I can talk with him, though not a lot because he likes to speak English."

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