squad | 2015-05-19
Mascherano: Barcelona is a club that is never at peace
Javier Mascherano gave an interview to ESPN FC Radio where he spoke about his season with Barcelona.
League Title: “We’re taking everything calmly. Beyond the celebrations we’ve now cooled off and I can enjoy a few days of rest at home with my family.”
“It’s not payback for last season because we lost the title then. This time we felt like we have achieved one of the objectives we had set out for ourselves in the summer because being league champions means that you were the most consistent team over the course of the season. The Copa Del Rey is very nice and the Champions League is the biggest prize.”
Playing level: “We’re at an optimum level, we’re playing good games, but nothing is guaranteed. We’re feeling good with just three weeks to go before the end of the season. We’re reaching this part mentally and physically fresh. The management over the course of the season has been very good in this aspect, with rotations and keeping us all plugged in.”
Two finals in play: “After the game against Deportivo we’ll start to prepare the Copa del Rey final and then the Champions League one. We understand that the fans are euphoric, but we are aware of the fact that the finals will be complicated. Athletic is a team that is good in cup competitions and it is used to playing Copa del Rey finals.”
Differences with Pep’s Barcelona: “The performance of team of given by its players beyond the ideas of its coaches. Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona was a team that tried to control games, with a positional attack. Today we have added a more direct game and improved our counterattack. The three players we have upfront allow us to do this better. And we’ve improved our defensive level because we’ve only conceded 19 goals in 37 games.”
His present at Barcelona: “I had the luck to be a part of a good period of the club. One of the best. My numbers at Barcelona are very good. I came here five years ago, played a bit over 40 games every season, in a team as demanding as Barcelona. I don’t only look at the statistics though, I also look at the sensations I perceive and from this point of view I’ve always felt important and they made me feel this way.”
“Playing as a center back too gives me a lot of opportunities. It’s something that our national team coach could use too, since he knows it from his time at Barcelona. With him I always played as a defender and this season with Luis Enrique I returned to the position of defensive midfielder in a few games. It’s something very positive for me, it makes me happy, but I know that it’s a very complicated position to play in at Barcelona.”
Leo Messi: “Everything’s been said about Messi. What’s happening to him now happens to every player. You get older and you get more mature. Messi has evolved into a total footballer. He is not only a goalscorer, he also became a midfielder, an assist provider, a player that controlls the same totally. This is how he has evolved and he keeps surprising us every day with his ability to keep improving.”
“With Guardiola, Messi was a finisher because Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets were the creators. Now, with Suárez and Neymar, Messi can control the game more and that’s something very good for us. Messi’s present form is a big part of Barcelona’s present form.”
Luis Enrique’s continuity: “Barcelona is a club that is always surrounded by rumors and a club that it is never at peace. There are always debates. We’ve lived with them all season and we have known to focus only on our game all season. We are calm and thankful to the coach for giving us the posibility to be league champions.”
Future as a coach: “As players we’re all coaches. After that, you have to see when you’re time comes. I am passionate about it. I love talking to coaches, I try to learn because I always want to improve and reach the abolute maximum level I can. If I am a coach or not we’ll see when the time comes. As a player it’s easy because during the week you train in order to give the best version of yourself on game day. As a coach you have to worry about every player in the squad giving the best version of himself. I always try to look at things from a coach’s point of view.”
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