As he begins his seventh year at the club, Javier Mascherano spoke to the press on Tuesday about various topics surrounding himself and the team, with the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup taking centre stage.

Mascherano could not his delight at the “great defensive display of the whole team” at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday where Barça won 2-0 thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Munir.

“We gained confidence with the win at Sevilla, but the mentality of the team is to improve and to continue to grow,” said the club’s fourth captain.

Speaking of new signing Samuel Umtiti, Mascherano said: "Umtiti is a signing that gives us strength, and pushes us to become better, just like the other new players who have arrived."

For the experienced defender, the Super Cup is “a title that excites us” and he hopes that the team “can play another great game like in Seville, with great concentration”.

Messi’s return to the national team

“For all Argentinians, it is great news that he will return. It leaves us calm and very happy. He is our captain and our best player, he is our leader. I am sure that he has plenty more to give us Argentinians. Hopefully he will help us qualify for the next World Cup.”

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