JAVIER MASCHERANO has taken his no-nonsense approach to playing into management.
The former Liverpool and Barcelona midfield enforcer is now in charge of Argentina’s Under-20s – and boy does he have some strict rules for them to follow.
The 37-year-old, who earned 147 caps for Argentina, has set out eight dictums to his young charges, according to AS.
To promote their general education, players must do daily homework, learn how to speak English, and read books in their spare time.
To improve their conduct at their training base they must clean their boots after each session, serve their own food, clean their own plates and cutlery, and clean the dressing room before leaving.
And to ready them for the scrutiny they will face in the senior professional game, it is mandatory for them to attend ‘communication workshops’ to learn how to deal with the media.
The AS report points out that River Plate youth product Mascherano was ‘always a humble man’ during his trophy-laden 17-year playing career – and he is trying to pass that quality on.
It adds: “In a strategy that seeks to normalise the lives of these exceptional young people, he tries to teach them the value of the moment they live.
“It also teaches them to respect the value of the work and effort of people who are not in their position.
“And for this reason, according to what some media have echoed, it applies a kind of code of conduct that players must follow.”
Mascherano is far from the first manager to employ a strict code of conduct for his players.
When Chelsea boss, Frank Lampard had a 12-point system in place which included a £20,000 fine for being late for training and a £1,000 charge for a mobile phone ringing during a team meal.
It was a strategy Thomas Tuchel axed when he succeeded Lampard last year, with the German instead opting to let players police their own time-keeping.