Javier Mascherano believes Lionel Messi is the exception that proves the rule that no one player is bigger than his club.
The former Liverpool player said his Argentine compatriot – who has won 28 titles for the Catalans since making his debut in 2005 – is indispensible and his eventual departure would be unlike those of Xavi Hernandez, Dani Alves and Carlos Puyol.
"[Messi] is indispensable, but the rest of us are dispensable," Mascherano said in an interview with Barcelona's official magazine.
"Leo is a unique player. We're talking about the best player in history, for this club and for the sport.
"Important people have left Barca in recent years, people that will stay in the club's history, but the team still works, it still wins.
"No, the club is bigger than any manager, than any player... except Leo. That's the reality, and you have to accept it.
"I can't speak in Leo's name, but in my personal opinion the marriage between Barca and Leo has had a lot of joy for a long time and there's still time for more.
"I don't see any reason for a divorce because both parties benefit from the relationship and I think that can continue.
"In my opinion, I can't imagine Leo playing for another team at this level."
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