La Liga-winning Barcelona jack-of-all-trades Javier Mascherano spoke to a South American radio this week about the evolution of Lionel Messi, his team's chances of winning the remaining titles and the difference between the style of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique's teams.
Here's a few highlights:
Messi's evolution: What has happened with Messi is what happens to all players. As you get older, you feel more mature. Messi has evolved to become the complete player. He's not just a goal scorer, but he is also a midfielder, a creator and a controller of play. In that way Messi has evolved. He continues to surprise every day with his ability to improve.
Messi the creator: With [Josep] Guardiola, Messi was a finisher because the creators of play were Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta and [Sergio] Busquets. Now, with [Luis] Suarez and Neymar, Messi can control more and it's something that favours us a lot.
Winning La Liga: It's not revenge for the last season [when Atletico won the league at Camp Nou]. That time we lost the title, but this time we won one of the three trophies we set out to win at the start of this season. Next comes the Copa del Rey, which is nice, and the Champions League, which is the pinnacle.
Challenges ahead: We are at the optimum level, but nothing is guaranteed. But we have good sensations because we go into the final three weeks of the season fresh physically and mentally. The management has been very good, with rotations throughout the season.
Enrique vs. Guardiola: Pep's Barça looked to control play more, with an attack more positional. Today we have a more direct style and we have improved the counter attacks. With the three players we have up front, we can do that. We've also improved in defence, only conceding 19 goals in 37 games.
Source: Diario Sport