Mascherano: Playing at centre-back for Barcelona is a risk

The 28-year-old midfielder has spoken about the difficulty of playing in central defence for his club side, while currently training with the Argentina national squad
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Javier Mascherano has spoken of the risk involved in playing centre-back at Barcelona following some criticism after he made a mistake in the lead-up to one of Real Madrid's goals in the recent Spanish Super Cup.

Speaking in Argentina, where he is currently preparing with his national side for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Peru, the defensive midfielder explained how playing in defence means you might be responsible for more goals.

"I run a lot more risk playing centrally for Barca than [I would] in any other team due to how we play," Mascherano stated to Mundo Deportivo.

"We are constantly attacking and yes, we [might] have 70 per cent of possession, but three or four times [the opponent] will attack you.

"You find yourself [under pressure] with 50 or 60 meters behind you," he explained.

"Every mistake, like mine against Real Madrid [in the Spanish Supercopa], is a goal. Playing in the centre at Barcelona is a risk, but I also particularly like to run that risk."

More often deployed in a defensive-midfield role for his national side, Mascherano missed out on Argentina's 3-1 victory over Paraguay on Friday due to suspension. He is expected to start in Tuesday's fixture against Peru in Lima.