Mascherano: We should focus on Chelsea, not Real Madrid

The former Liverpool midfielder has insisted that the Catalans should not look too far ahead, and focus on their upcoming Champions League encounter
Javier Mascherano has urged his Barcelona team-mates not to get distracted by the upcoming La Liga match against arch-rivals Real Madrid, as they prepare for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.

The Argentina international feels that the Catalans can not afford to think too far ahead as the match against the Premier League side demands their full attention.

"The main thing right now is Wednesday’s match. Afterwards, we’ll think about the league and Real Madrid," Mascherano told reporters.

"We’re in a Champions League semi-final and we have a great opportunity to reach the final. It would be a really big mistake to focus on Real Madrid first, because Wednesday’s match is very difficult and will go a long way to deciding the tie.

"It’ll be a really difficult tie that will depend a lot on getting a good result in the first leg against a team that has always been characterised by their tremendous physical strength, and which has some really experienced players."