JAVIER Mascherano has called on Barcelona’s players to rally behind Lionel Messi in order to make the most of the fine form their “leader” is currently enjoying.
Since losing at Real Sociedad in their first game after the winter break, the Blaugrana have racked up nine successive victories in all competitions, with Messi playing a key role in that remarkable run.
The Argentina captain has scored 10 goals and created seven others during Barca’s winning streak and Mascherano says Luis Enrique’s men have to do everything they can to help their talismanic No.10 extend his purple patch.
“When Leo shines, the team always grows stronger because he is a player who gives you so many things,” the versatile defender told Rac1.
“We must make the most of the good moment he is in and follow him like the footballing leader that he is.
“We had a very good start to the season. Then came some slip-ups.
“But now we’re back on the path we started on and we want to finish our season in the best way.”
Barca will be looking to make it 10 wins in a row when they host Villarreal in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at Camp Nou on Wednesday evening.
Mascherano, though, is taking nothing for granted, given how well the Yellow Submarine performed in a 3-2 loss in Catalunya on February 1.
“They are a good team and they have already show us at Camp Nou what they can do,” the former Liverpool man added.
“A bad game can arrive at any time, so we must try to continue increasing our confidence.
“We have to just think game by game. Our goal is to get the end of the season still fighting for every title.”