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Mascherano: Barcelona must play to win against Juventus

It’s win or bust for the Argentine in Turin

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Javier Mascherano says Barcelona will be going for the win at Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Barca face a tough test against Massimiliano Allegri’s men who are unbeaten in their last 21 home games in the Champions League.

However, Mascherano says his team can’t afford to play conservatively and must go for the victory in Turin if they are to progress to the last four.

“If we don't play to win, it will go badly. We have to play our football to negate Juventus' strengths,” he told a pre-match press conference

“If we go out for a draw, then we’ll definitely have more chance of losing because we’re a team who like to control the game, to be protagonists.

“That’s the best way to be in attack, but also in defence for the qualities of our players and our mentality because it’s worked really well in recent years.

“We know it’ll be tough, but we’ll try to minimise the best of Juventus with our football and exhibit the best version of ourselves.

“Juventus have always been a strong and powerful team, in recent years they’ve won the Scudetto in Italy with a lot of room to spare.

“This is a team which has had a lot of quality players throughout its history, just as now, so clearly we have to be alert.”

Mascherano was linked with a move to Juventus last summer but the Argentine played down talk of a move to Turin.

“There were rumours last summer, as often happens in the summer transfer window,” he explained.

“There’s a lot of talk but there was nothing, I’m a Barcelona player. It’s an honour and a pleasure to play for a team like Barcelona, and I’ll try to give my best to help the team.”