Mascherano credits Guardiola for turning him into 'a new player'

The Argentine midfielder hailed the outgoing coach for the impact he has made on his career, and also Lionel Messi after he questioned whether or not his teammate is human.
Javier Mascherano has praised Pep Guardiola for redefining him into a new player following the 41-year-old's last match at Camp Nou on Saturday.

The Argentina international arrived in Barcelona two years ago from Liverpool, but initially struggled to break into the first team as a midfielder, with Sergio Busquets keeping his place as the side's anchorman.

However, Mascherano has recently been converted into a central defender, as he started last year's Champions League final alongside Gerard Pique, and he has thanked Guardiola for his redevelopment.

"There's a before and after Guardiola in my career. He turned me into a new player," Mascherano told reporters following the Blaugrana's 4-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday.

The 27-year-old also took the time to applaud his Barca team-mate Lionel Messi, as his four-goal display against their arch-rivals saw him break Dudu Georgescu's record of 47 league goals in a single European season.

"Although he might not be human, it's good that Messi keeps on thinking he is. Leo is playing another sport," he concluded.

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