Barcelona, May 28 (IANS) Lionel Messi’s compatriot and Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano says he would not trade places with the former due to the level of expectation which is heaped on the Argentine.
Messi netted 43 goals as Barcelona claimed the La Liga title, while the Catalans will be playing Copa del Rey and Champions League finals against Athletic Club Bilbao and Juventus, respectively.
And Mascherano says he doesn’t ever want to face the pressure that Messi does in every game that he plays as he tries to keep proving he is the best in the world.
“I wouldn’t trade places with him,” Mascherano was quoted as saying goal.com on Thursday.
“You have to be a very special type of person to bear the burden of proving every three days, every game, that you’re the best in the world,” he said.
The 30 year-old said Athletic will be a tough side to beat as they lock horns at the Camp Nou stadium on Saturday.
“They’re a team par excellence and they’re going to make life very tough for us,” he said.
“The fact that Athletic have preserved their culture in the increasingly globalised world of football makes them a special club. Despite all the limitations, they remain competitive. They deserve the utmost appreciation.”
Barcelona will end the season with the Champions League final in Berlin on June 6 to clash against Italian champions Juventus in what Mascherano believes will be decided on the “slimmest of margins”.
“They’re the biggest team in Italy. They’ve really prepared for this moment in recent years. It’s going to be an extremely tough game and it will be decided on the slimmest of margins,” he said.