Javier Mascherano believes Lionel Messi is unique in football and says he hasn’t seen anything like his Barcelona teammate in his entire life.
Messi starred as Barca beat Manchester City to confirm progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and his compatriot didn’t hold back in his praise.
“Playing with Messi is playing with someone who’s never been seen before,” Mascherano told Onda Cero, AS reports.
“He’s a legend, a total player. With everyone else, football controls us, but he controls the game, decides what to do. He does it with a dominance I haven’t seen in the 30 years I’ve lived.”
Masche was spotted helping out goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen save Sergio Aguero’s penalty, giving Ter Stegen some inside information on where his Argentina colleague would put the spot kick.
“It was a borderline situation. I imagined it would go to that side and Ter Stegen knew it,” he noted.
“What I did was confirm something he already knew.”
Mascherano was also asked about the change in Barca’s fortunes since they started 2015 with a defeat to Real Sociedad at Anoeta.
“This is football. Because this club is a monster and the way we live here in Spain is very Latin, things change very quickly,” he pointed out.
“We had to bite the dust in San Sebastian and the team has responded and stepped forward and we’ve gone beyond what the Coach expected, and I agree that he always wanted the best since August.
“Sometimes a well-placed slap wakes you up. We’re in the dance, knowing we face key games and we’re alive in all competitions.”
Mascherano concluded by discussing the appearance of Pep Guardiola at Camp Nou and Barca’s next fixture, Sunday’s Clasico.
“I have no doubt about Guardiola’s feelings for the club. I felt safe with him and he only wants to do well,” he said of his former trainer.
“Do you know what Madrid spend? We have to deal with reality. They belong to the best five teams in the world and they have a worldwide following.”