Mascherano: Man City among world's top five teams

Mascherano: Man City among world's top five teams
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Published March 19th, 2015 - 17:07 GMT via

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Manchester City team
Manchester City team

Javier Mascherano says Manchester City are "among the top five teams in the world" following Barcelona's Champions League last-16 triumph.

Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal on Wednesday, but the visitors had goalkeeper Joe Hart to thank for preventing the margin of victory to be increased with 10 saves at Camp Nou.

The 3-1 loss for the Premier League champions sees them still yet to reach the quarter-final stage after four attempts, but Mascherano feels the squad can be ranked among the world's best.

"Manchester City are among the top five teams in the world and we deserve worldwide acceptance for this triumph," he told Onda Cero.

Meanwhile, Mascherano also had praise for Lionel Messi, describing his Barcelona and Argentina team-mate as a "living legend" and says he is the only footballer who can exact total control over a match.

"Playing with Messi is like playing with a living, breathing legend," he said. "He's the complete player.

"Everybody else who plays is controlled by football, but Messi truly controls the game. He is on another level in terms of quality; I have not seen another player as good at him in 30 years."

Mascherano was spotted pointing which direction his Argentina colleague Sergio Aguero would aim his penalty prior to him taking the spot-kick, with ter Stegen following his instructions and saving the strike.

"From limited situations I have seen him take them, I figured it would go that way," he added. "And I was proven right. But all I did was confirm something that was already suspected [by Ter Stegen]."

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