Mascherano: I have learned so much from Guardiola

The Argentina international thinks that the coach will be held in high regard after his departure and reveals the influence the 41-year-old has had on his career
Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has heaped praise on Pep Guardiola, saying that the Blaugrana boss has changed the way he sees football.

The 41-year-old coach is set to oversee his last match for the Catalan club in the Copa del Rey final on May 25 as he puts an end to a successful four-year stint to take a 12-month sabbatical from football.

Mascherano has no doubt that Guardiola will leave Barca as a hero and spoke of the impact that the coach has had on him since he arrived at Camp Nou in 2010.

"It is very hard for a coach to leave a club on good terms," Mascherano told ARA. "Either they are sacked, or they do not have their contracts renewed.

"In this case, it was his decision. I think that he will leave through the front door.

"Guardiola is different from the other coaches because of the way he sees football. When I arrived here, I had a different idea of what football was.

"He has taught me to look at the game in a different way. I have learned so much about being a better professional and about looking at this job beyond the results."

Barcelona will tackle Athletic Bilbao on Friday in the Copa del Rey final at the Vicente Calderon.