NEWS
Saturday October 6 2012
Mascherano: Too many Clasicos

Javier Mascherano says the high number of Clasicos in recent seasons has made it harder for Barcelona and Real Madrid to beat each other.

Real and Barca notably met four times in the space of a few weeks in the Spring of 2010-11, playing in the League, the Copa del Rey Final and across two legs of a Champions League semi-final.

The weekend’s Clasico will be the 14th meeting between the two teams in the last two years.

“It will be hard. Those four Clasicos will never be forgotten,” Mascherano reflected to El Periodico today.

“It was terrible for what happened. We played too many times. The more familiar you are, the worse it is - it is harder to find the weaknesses.”

The former Liverpool midfielder then reflected on his time since joining Barcelona and on his conversion into a centre-back by Pep Guardiola.

“I came here to be part of something that was being built. I wanted to be part of it even though it my part would be very, very, very small. I had dreamed of coming to the club at that time.

“They were the best club in the world having won everything. I came here and finished my first season playing a Champions League Final at Wembley against Manchester United. At centre-back!.

“At first I began in midfield and then the Coach moved me to centre-back. When we were playing at Donetsk [in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, April 2011], Pep told us the team and said ‘Rely a lot on Gerard [Pique]. This is not an easy situation, but I think a midfielder can be adapted to this position’.”

It’s a position he has now become accustomed to and where he sees most of his football at the club coming from.

“I am not Sergio Busquets, to play in the midfield at Barcelona is almost impossible. You need an almost perfect sense of positioning. For some games I can play there, but I always want to play.

“Barca is a club where the tests are constant. You have to learn every day. It doesn’t matter what you have done or who you are , it only matters what you are doing tomorrow… I feel valued by the people working here. That is the greatest reward you can have.”

Football Italia website