Champions League Final 2015 – Tevez v Mascherano – An old partnership reunited
Juventus and Barcelona play in the 2015 Champions League final this weekend and two old Premier League faces will be going heads to head.
When Alan Pardew walked onto the pitch at Upton Park with two Argentinean internationals by his side in the summer of 2007, most West Ham fans didn’t have the faintest idea of what was going on, let alone supporters throughout the rest of the Premier League.
The pair both arrived on the back of shady deals likely financed by the equally suspicious Iranian businessman, Kia Joorabchian. His somewhat questionable involvement was initially played out behind the scenes at West Ham at the start of the saga – but as third party ownership deals are strictly prohibited for footballers plying their trade in England – the whole ordeal eventually cost the Hammers big time in fines and further compensation.
As no points were ultimately docked for West Ham in the end though, most of the Upton Park faithful would admit that the situation could have ended up a lot worse with the club managing to avoid retrospective relegation.
With both Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano coming up against one another in the Juventus v Barcelona Champions League final however, just how far has each player come in reaching club football’s most illustrious stage this weekend, and who will ultimately walk away on the winning side?
Well, even though each player paid witness to a pretty controversial start to life in European football when they both burst onto the scene, nowadays the two Argentineans simply go down as some of the best performers of the modern era. Looking back on their careers with this weekend’s final in mind, it really is quite interesting to see how far they’ve come, in light of how rocky their initial journeys were at first.
Carlos Tevez’ fate after joining the Hammers in 2007 seemingly went from strength to strength. Despite almost facing relegation in his first season in the east end, the aggressive Juventus striker went on to score several key goals for West Ham – ultimately maintaining his team’s place in the Premier League. The now 31-year-old will therefore always receive a warm welcome at Upton Park for contributing to the club’s cause just when they needed it most.
His goals eventually proved enough, condemning relegation rivals Sheffield United to the drop – despite the subsequent compensation package that reluctantly came their way as a result of Tevez’ illegal third party ownership.
The skilful Argentinean striker’s relationship with the West Ham fans ultimately wasn’t enough to keep him at Upton Park for another season however, with the lure of Manchester seemingly proving too much for the former Corinthians and Boca Juniors man to turn down. Both initially with United, and then under the financially boosted scheme at City, Carlos Tevez went on to win a great deal in England.
His reported home-sickness and apparent bust-up on the side-lines with Roberto Mancini in the Champions League eventually called an end to his time in the Premier League though, with current UCL finalists, Juventus, acquiring the striker’s services in 2013.
Javier Mascherano’s initial start to life in the Premier League turned out a little differently however. Whilst both he and Tevez joined up with the Hammers together after making the switch from Corinthians, the bustling defensive midfielder ultimately never settled in the east end, with both Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley opting against giving him a solid run in the first team.
When the likes of Hayden Mullins are keeping you out of the starting XI, something seriously has to change. Mascherano subsequently moved onto Liverpool under Rafa Benitez halfway through the 2007-08 campaign, and enjoyed a much better spell in the Premier League as a result.
Today he has become a vital member of the Barcelona back-line since the retirement of captain Carles Puyol, and has arguably become an even better centre-back than his traditional defensive-midfielder reputation.
So, with each Argentinean international coming up against one another this weekend in the Champions League final, it should be a great spectacle – within the wider spectacle of course – to see them face one another in search of the ultimate prize in club football.
Tevez will be tasked with scoring the goals for Juve, whilst Mascherano will be doing his best to keep them out for Barca. Each player could have a massive influence on the match if things start to play out well for their respective teams – yet as Barcelona still go down as the widespread favourites – expect Javier Mascherano to be the former West Ham man lifting the trophy when all is said and done.
Champions League 2015 Final Betting
There are some great betting offers for the Champions League final and you can get them below when you follow the link and open a new account, it’s easy money to make!
Barcelona to win – 7/1 with Paddy Power.
Barcelona to win – 6/1 with Ladbrokes.
Barcelona to lift the trophy – 4/1 with Betfair.
Messi to score and Barcelona to win – 10/1 with Coral.
Open a new Betfair account to bet on our Juventus v Barcelona betting tips and you qill qualify to bet £10 on Barcelona to lift the trophy at 4/1. This means £10 wins you £50 and if they don't win the Champions League you get a £10 refund.
How to get 4/1 for Barcelona to win the Champions League:
2. Open a new account for free
3. Bet £10 on Barcelona to win the Champions League
4. If they do get paid at 4/1, that's £50
5. If they don't, get a £10 refund
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