Argentinian international Javier Mascherano has officially joined Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune from Barcelona.
The highly decorated 33-year-old is the biggest name to head to China since his fellow Argentine Carlos Tevez 12 months ago. After a series of record transfers, Chinese authorities moved to crack down on sky-rocketing deals last year.
Mascherano will take the number 14 shirt, the same he wore at Barcelona and for his country and is set to team up with another Argentina international, Ezequiel Lavezzi, at Hebei, who are based in the northern city of Qinhuangdao and are coached by former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini.
“After reaching agreement with Barcelona FC and the player himself, the distinguished Argentine captain Mascherano has, starting today, officially joined Hebei China Fortune Football Club,” the Chinese side said, without disclosing the transfer fee.
Barcelona announced on Tuesday that Mascherano, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, was leaving the club after seven-and-a-half successful seasons. During his time in Camp Nou, he won a total of eighteen trophies.
The Catalan giants said Mascherano would be given an official farewell on Wednesday and say goodbye to fans at Thursday’s Copa del Rey quarter-final, second leg against Espanyol.