Javier Mascherano shared his thoughts with the press today concerning the upcoming Champions League game, the important week ahead, and the injury of team-mate Thiago Alcántara. Read on for the details!
Mascherano was asked about the importance of this week, that will see Barça facing Benfica and Madrid. He replied coolly: ”It’s not a crucial week, as we won’t be out of any competition if we don’t win each game, but it is important, as is every week at Barça, as the club demands to win every single game.”
Mascherano reckons that teams with a fast counter-attack, such as the next two rivals, can create some problems for Barça. In that sense, the central defender also addressed the issues that his team have been struggling with this season: “We always go out there and try to win games from the start, so we know the risk we are taking by doing so, especially against teams with fast players and fast counter-attack. That is why we have to stay focused and minimize errors. We have to be even more attentive, as in the last games our rivals have scored from the minimal opportunities we concede.” However, Mascherano believes Barça’s game has been better than recent results indicate.
On another subject, Mascherano sent his best wishes to Thiago, whose injury will keep him off the field for about 2 months. “We have to be at his side, especially after this summer, when he had a rough time recovering from his previous injury. He will be missed, but we’ll try to cover his absence the best we can.” Mascherano showed himself confident and happy with Iniesta and Puyol coming back from their injuries, as “they will make us stronger.” He also heaped praise on Alex Song at his role as centre back: “I have seen him playing well there, despite a difficult adapting process. He will get better with every game he plays.”
Here, a few bits of Mascherano’s press conference on video. (press “cc” to see captions)
Video: FC Barcelona on YouTube