Messi is doing the impossible, says Mascherano

The versatile defender has hailed the forward's consistency and was pleased with the Camp Nou side's display against Milan

Javier Mascherano has voiced his admiration for Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi in the wake of the prolific attacker's performance against AC Milan on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old netted twice to give his side the lead as Barca eventually recorded a 4-0 home win to erase the 2-0 loss from the first leg, thus booking their ticket for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"It is very difficult to find adjectives for Leo. I think almost all is said. What is perhaps surprising is his consistency," Mascherano told

"Doing what he is doing as a professional player for so long every three days is impossible. But he does just that, and I do not think any other player in the history of football has done it before.

"He maybe did not play well for two or three games and everyone had already set the alarm. And that's good because it is recognised that he has been consistent for five years, but at a superlative level and that is impossible."

The Argentine then went on to discuss Barca's miraculous comeback against Milan.

"The most important thing is we qualified, which is a big step. We went back to do many things that perhaps in the last few games we did not do.

"Things that have characterised the team for so long, like the issue of pressuring the opponent to recover the ball in the attacking half, the intensity with which we press our opponents.

"They were small things, but in the last few games we could not do it, and that's very noticeable in this team."

The former Liverpool player also had his say on the Blaugrana's recent struggles and made it clear that it was a new situation for many of the players.

"During the last 15 days we lived a situation that many of these guys are not used to. You must understand that for four or five years things came out well, and perhaps many in their career did not go through hard times.

"The fact that we lost against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, and then against Milan too made the team receive a lot of criticism, and our tactics were questioned.

"In these 15 or 20 days we were analysing what went wrong and we realised that we were missing a little of what we saw yesterday. Maybe we lost that intensity when we pressed, and we were all week trying to fix all these things."

Barcelona will resume domestic action on Sunday when they host Rayo Vallecano.