Javier Mascherano believes Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi has evolved into a total footballer over the past few years.
Speaking to ESPN Radio Sur, the Argentine maintained that Messi is now a different player to the one that burst onto the scene over a decade ago.
“Everything about Messi has already been said. What has happened with him is the same as happens to all players, like when you have your birthday and feel more mature,” explained Mascherano.
“He’s not only a goalscorer but has also converted himself into a midfielder, a provider, someone who controls the play.
“In that respect Messi has evolved into a total footballer and every day he continues to surprise us with his ability to overcome anything.
“When Guardiola was here Messi was the finisher because the creators were Xavi [Hernandez], [Andres] Iniesta and [Sergio] Busquets.
“Now, having [Luis] Suarez and Neymar, he can control things more and that encourages us a lot.”
Mascherano wanted to stress that winning the treble this season has not just been about making up for the disappointment of last year.
“It’s not revenge for last term because at that time we lost the title. This time around we feel we’ve achieved one of the goals we set out before the start of the campaign, because the champions will go down as the most consistent team of the year.
“After that, the Copa del Rey would be very nice while the Champions League is the ultimate,” he asserted.