The ex-Liverpool man admits that the former Spain international left behind quite a mark on the Blaugrana but believes that the 42-year-old is ready to follow in his footsteps
While the versatile Argentine admits that Pep Guardiola left behind a grand legacy at Barca, Mascherano says that Vilanova has learned a lot working with the revered head coach.
"I think that obviously the person who's responsible for this is [Pep] Guardiola. But, behind Guardiola you have people doing a great job like Tito [Vilanova]," Mascherano said at the World Soccer Masters press conference.
"Now he gets to take over the team and what they've done over the past four years keeps going for a longer time."
Guardiola announced his decision to resign from the Blaugrana in the summer after Chelsea's shocking win over the club in the Champions League semi-finals. Under Guardiola's guidance, Barcelona has won 14 trophies including two Champions League titles during his four years at the club.
Vilanova will have a difficult task of winning over a dressing room that is very loyal to Guardiola but so far the team appears to be unified in their support of Guardiola's former assistant.