Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis
The player and mother had met in a wheelchair and the mother’s condition worsens
Arsenal and Valencia were among five teams vying to sign the player – he wanted to remain in Spain
Spanish football legend Fernando Hierro has described the comeback of Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano as ‘a miracle’ after his recovery from brain cancer last year.
The 37-year-old – who won a European medal with the Atletico Madrid side – has played just 11 times this season but is determined to return at season’s end.
And in an interview with La Sexta, he said it was a’miracle’ that he was able to go from his initial diagnosis of ‘a tumor on his brain to being back again. I did not expect it. I just wanted to be with my son, my daughter and my wife.
His mother, Marcela Mascherano, had the same type of brain cancer as Javier, also called Javier.
Javier, who was diagnosed with a tumor on his brain two years ago, said: ‘My wife and I were living in Barcelona. We travelled around the world. We had a lot of fun. We were happy.
‘We had a lot of family trips. We were very close and we loved each other. It was one evening where we saw on TV about the footballer of the Year.
‘When I saw it, my heart stopped. The first thing I did was to call all of my friends and my relatives, and tell them. I couldn’t talk because my words wouldn’t come out.
‘I started crying, for the first time in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I was very emotional, sad but at the same time happy. I wanted to see my wife. So we went to Barcelona and stayed in a hotel for a month, until I found out I had a tumor on my brain.
‘The doctor I had in Madrid told me to go to Barcelona to have my surgery. He said: ‘There is no need for you to come to Madrid. Come back on your own