‘Napoli? I’m happy at Barca’

Javier Mascherano has considered Barcelona’s work under Tata Martino and revealed that he ‘always talks’ with Rafa Benitez.

The converted centre-back worked with Benitez closely at Liverpool and has since been linked with reuniting with him at Napoli.

However, the 29-year-old has looked to affirm his commitment to the Camp Nou, even if he hints that he previously was close to following Benitez out to Serie A before joining Barca in 2010.

“Before going to Barcelona I came close to joining [Benitez at] Inter,” commented Mascherano to El Grafico this week.

“I always talk with him. Would I now go to Napoli? I’m fine here and he knows that.”

Mascherano is working under fellow Argentine Tata Martino this year at Barcelona.

“Martino is a serious Coach, who likes to work and who does not look for difficulties. At first I was shocked that Barcelona hired him, not for his ability, but because it is not common for a South American Coach to come in at a big European team.

“He told us: ‘I am not here to change anything, but to recover things I saw this team doing that in recent times they have not been doing’.

“Against Rayo we won 4-0, but Rayo had more possession than us. It was 51 per cent to 49 per cent I believe, a debate that was absurd, right? The team is continuing the same way.

“Now, if we have the ability to reach goal within three passes, you are not going to take 20 to accommodate the opponent, yes?”

Tags Benitez Inter Martino Mascherano Napoli
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