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“First, good afternoon, we're really excited for the game, for what it means to be in the quarterfinals of this competition, and obviously, what it means to play like a team like Juventus. Aside from the defeat over the weekend the team is playing good football and looking forward to showing that level once again tomorrow night.”
On the dangers of Juventus and specifically the Argentinians Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuaín:
To get through a tie like this you must play very complete games, both defensively and offensively, because any mistakes are paid for dearly. So, we need to play well as a team, we need to settle into our game, and get a good result, which we can then finish off in Barcelona.
On what the team learned from the 4–0 loss in Paris and the comeback.
What I was saying recently in the Champions League, if you don't play your best game, if you don't rise to the occasion of what this team can do, then you get penalized very heavily. So, the important thing is to be aware that we are playing a very powerful team in Europe, and playing at their stadium, where they are very strong, their numbers there are impressive. And as we always say when we play away in Europe, we need to be ourselves, we need to be recognizable, and if we do that then we will be closer to our best version.
On whether Juventus see this game as revenge for losing the 2015 final:
I don't think there is such a thing as revenge in football, just opportunities. They can't change the past. Obviously for the fans it might be a rematch, but for the team, more than half of them are different players from that final. And we've also changed several players, so I don't think it's a case of what happened in the past, I think we just need to concentrate on tomorrow's game, and to concentrate on playing our best, will which will put us in the right position to get a good result.
On the rumors of Juventus trying to sign him [Mascherano] in the past:
Yes, there were rumors last summer, which tends to happen in the summer transfer window, but nothing was there. I'm here at Barcelona and it's an honor and a pleasure to be with this team, and I always try to do the best I can to help the team.
On whether Higuaín and Dybala strike fear into him?
Pablo and Gonzalo are great players, I have the pleasure of knowing them, and I know how good they are. Players like that need to be paid special attention to because they can tip the balance of the game at any moment. They can break open the game in one move. So, we need to be very careful. I wouldn't say I'm scared of them but I respect them very much.
On playing three different positions this season, and where you will play tomorrow:
As the season has progressed, I've been getting used to playing as a stopper on the right or left, or as a full-back on the right or left as well, but I've been growing more and more accustomed. I haven't had much of an option to play the defensive midfield position at Barcelona, although that's my original position where I like playing most of all, but I don't really have any issue with playing in different positions. If I didn't think it was good for the team or if I had a problem or was bothered with the position, I would tell the manager, and that's that. I don't think you want to be in a place where you don't feel comfortable, and it's perhaps easier to let someone else take your place. So, no, I'm saying I'm happy playing in any of those positions. I feel comfortable, and I'm a bit like you, I don't know where I am playing tomorrow. In fact, I'm not even sure that I'm playing at all.
On Messi having a chance to outshine Higuaín after the last few big finals for Argentina:
I think you're making too much out of that question. I'm not really the kind of person who dwells on what may have happened in the past. Those things happen and there's no real need to go over these things repeatedly. This is a team sport and one man doesn't win or lose a game on his own. Everybody does their bit for the team, and football can be a funny game sometimes. You don't always get what you deserve, and with Argentina what has happened in those three finals is that we did enough to win in more than one of those games, but unfortunately, we didn't.
On Juventus winning 32 league games in a row at home, and whether Barça should be playing for a draw:
We are not a team that's not characterized by speculation. If we go out to the pitch and speculate, I think we'd have a greater possibility of things going badly for us. We try to go out and win the game, and be the protagonists. That's the way we know how to do things. It's not just about the best way to attack but also the best way to defend, because of the quality of our players, and our mentality. It's what has worked well for us this season, so we will just be focusing on playing our game, minimizing Juventus’s strengths, and trying to play our best game.
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