The two played alongside each other at the Camp Nou for eight years – winning multiple titles along the way – while they were also long-standing international teammates.
“When he gets the ball, there is always a feeling that something is about to happen,” Mascherano told The Tactical Room, as per Marca.
“To generate that sensation throughout the world must be something unparalleled. And he has been doing it every three days for the last 15 years. That’s why we’re talking about someone different.
“Messi is a very special person because of how down to earth he is.
“I haven’t met anyone who is so great at what he does in sport and who has that ability to come and talk to you, ask you questions or ask your opinion. Normally, bigger people like him don’t do that.”
Mascherano made a grand total of 334 appearances for the Catalan giants between 2010 and 2018 while his distinguished career also saw him win 147 international caps for Argentina.
However, his goalscoring record is one that was notably non-existent – he netted just one goal for the Blaugrana across his eight-year spell: a penalty kick against Osasuna in La Liga in April 2017.
The experienced former Argentina international had also represented River Plate, Corinthians, West Ham, Liverpool, Hebei China Fortuna and Estudiantes during his extensive playing career.
Image via Marca