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Liga (Spain)

BARCELONA, Mascherano: "I feel very valued"

20.07.2012 11.49 by TM W  read 1534
Source: Fcbarcelona.com
© foto di Hernandez/Alterphotos/Image Sp

This Thursday, Javier Mascherano said that his contract renewal with Barça “is well on its way.” The Argentine added that “it’s a topic that my representative is handling, but I’m in the best possible situation to renew my contract. I feel very valued by Barça, I’m very happy, and I want to continue with FC Barcelona for many years.” In addition, the player also talked about the economic sacrifice he made when he first signed with the Club: “it was the best decision I ever made in my life, because otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve everything I have.”

Barça’s number 14 explained that one of the most important things he’s learned while at Can Barça is that “training hard and taking advantage of the time I’m given on the pitch is important.” He added that “when you’re in a big team and when that big chance comes along you have to take it and not let it slip away.” Mascherano also noted that he believes he’s won the confidence of the manager and his teammates, but he’s aware that “not everything is done, I have to maintain that confidence.”

Center defender, the position he feels most comfortable in

Mascherano admitted that playing center back for FC Barcelona is a position that comes naturally to him. “This doesn’t mean that I won’t play in another position if the boss tells me to,” he added. On the possibility that the Club might bring in an additional center back for the upcoming 2012/13 season, the Argentine said that “this is Barça and it’s always necessary to bring in players to maintain the competition. The Club looks for players that can add something to the team. One can’t be dilute himself by thinking that new players aren’t necessary if everything is going well.”

After a couple of days with Tito Vilanova at the helm, the Barça player said that he sees no personal change in the former assistant manager’s behaviour, “he’s as calm and tranquil as ever.” He added, “it’s obvious that we all have to adjust to the change. However, I don’t think the change will be drastic, because everything we’ve been doing in recent years with Pep was agreed with Tito.”

“We’re all starting over”

Mascherano admitted that he still thinks about last year’s Champions League semi-final: “I believe that were were very superior to Chelsea over the 180 minutes of the tie. But that’s football, a lot of times you don’t get what you deserve.” On this year’s edition of the continental tournament, Mascherano is convinced that Real Madrid “will be one of the big challengers,” but he cautioned that every team is starting over and that “we have to respect all of our opponents.” Whatever happens, according to the Argentine, Barça’s players “must focus on their behaviour in order to be able to compete at the highest level on the pitch.”

“Villa will be tremendously helpful”

The Argentine talked about one of the players that missed most of 2011/12 season, David Villa, as well as two other players that have been linked to FC Barcelona in the press, Agger and Javi Martínez. On the Azulgrana striker, Mascherano said “he’s feeling much better,” and that he’s convinced that “Villa will be back to full form in short order and that he’ll help us a lot this season.” On Agger, Mascherano said that “he’s a great player, a very good center back that can play the ball.” Finally, when asked about Javi Martínez, the Argentine said that “we’ve gone through similar situations and now he can play in the center back position. No one doubts his quality.”

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