February 19, 2017 - 3:28pm
Javier Maschernao has hailed Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as “the best player in the history of the game” and fully expects him to extend his contract with the club.
The Argentine has become embroiled in a long-running saga regarding his future at Camp Nou.
Fresh terms are yet to be agreed, with Goal of the understanding that talks are yet to be held with Barca officials.
Mascherano, though, remains convinced that a compromise will be reached, with it impossible to envisage Messi turning out for another club.
He certainly hopes that the 29-year-old will agree to stay put as he considers his fellow countryman to set the standard when it comes to the best players on the planet.
“He is the only indispensable player, he is unique,” Mascherano told Barca Magazine.
“We are talking about the best player in the history of the game and this club.
“I can’t see Leo playing for another team at this level. Barca and Messi are like a marriage that has been happy for a long time and can keep being so. Both sides have benefited.”
While Messi is unquestionably one of the finest natural talents of all time, Mascherano admits he has had to work a little harder for his success.
He added: “I haven’t been successful because of any talent I was born with, I had to fight, work hard and be consistent.
“Without dedication, everything I have achieved wouldn’t have been possible and I am proud of this.”
Mascherano has won four La Liga titles alongside Messi at Barcelona, along with three Copas del Rey, two Champions League successes, the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.