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FC Barcelona faces Manchester City in the third round of the Champions League group stages on Wednesday night. Javier Mascherano, who signed a new contract on Monday keeping him at the Catalan club until the end of 2019, spoke ahead of the game. The Argentinian international believes it will be “a great game as Man City have improved a lot this season.” Wednesday night will see Pep Guardiola return to the Camp Nou for the second time as a coach. Mascherano highlighted his admiration for his former manager: “Guardiola has had a massive impact on my life. Firstly, because he brought me to this club, and secondly, because he taught me so much during the two years we were together.” Mascherano added that he believes Guardiola is so influential because of his “impressive reading of the game.”

The Barça-Man City fixture will also be a battle between Argentinians; Mascherano and Messi will take on Sergio Agüero. The Catalan's number 14 recognised how dangerous his friend and opponent is and spoke of Agüero as “one of the best players in the world inside the box due to his finishing and his all-round quality.” Concerning the defender's contract renewal, Mascherano expressed how happy he was to stay here and how Barça “is the club I have spent the most time with and I am proud of that as it is not easy to play in a team that is so demanding and competitive.”

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