Javier Mascherano acknowledged Rafa Benitez’s influence on his career but the two speak less now they’re on opposite sides of the Barcelona-Real Madrid divide.
Benitez and Mascherano were together at Liverpool after the Coach took the Argentina international from an unhappy spell at West Ham.
“He took me out of a pit 20 metres underground and to the top,” Marca reports Mascherano telling Spanish magazine Panenka.
“We can’t keep in touch since we’re not on the same team. He’s a great person and a teaching Coach, and you can learn a lot from him if you really want to.
“Our relationship hasn’t changed but it’s now an uncomfortable situation. I spoke to him last year when he coached Napoli but now it’s logical we speak less because of the circumstances. But I appreciate everything he did.
“Someday I’ll leave Barca or he’ll leave Madrid and everything will be back to normal. We still talk but not with the same regularity.”