Mascherano forgets the past in chase for future glories

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Javier Mascherano insists memories of past European disappointments will not be his driving force as he attempts to move a step closer to winning his first piece of silverware as a Liverpool player this evening.

Mascherano has yet to taste success with Liverpool since moving to Anfield in February 2007, although he has come agonisingly close on a couple of occasions - especially in Europe.

He was part of the side that lost the 2007 Champions League final 2-1 to AC Milan, and also the following year when Liverpool were knocked out of the same competition at the semi-final stage after going down 4-3 on aggregate to Chelsea.

To some, the pain of those losses could serve as an inspiration, but Mascherano admits he prefers to look forward than back.

Speaking ahead of tonight's Europa League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon, the Argentina midfielder said: "I try not to think of the past. For me the present is best and I try to think in the present.

"We have one of two 'finals' against Atletico, so we will try to get a good result and get through to the final in Hamburg.

"Whenever you lose you always feel that it's not a good experience. (But) I try to take away the positives when we lose and we got to the final in 2007. We couldn't win but we were there and that's important.

"If you lose in a final it's because you got there. We cannot think about two or three years ago, we need to think about this team and tomorrow because this team is totally different.

"We will try to win against Atletico and not think about anything else."

Regarding his chase for silverware with the five-time European champions, Mascherano added: "Trophies are the main thing. I said this a few weeks ago. This is the biggest game of the season for us.

"As a player I always want to win. At the end of my career I want to see how many trophies I've won. We have that chance, we are in the semi-final and we are one step away. We need to give 100% to get into the final.

"Obviously it's very important for me and my team-mates, otherwise we wouldn't do a 24-hour journey to get here!"

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