Mascherano enjoying defensive role with Barcelona

The Argentina international established a reputation as one of the most combative defensive midfielders in Europe before joining the Blaugrana from Liverpool two years ago

Javier Mascherano insists that he is thoroughly enjoying playing in defence for Barcelona.

The Argentina international is a midfielder by trade but has been regularly utilised as a centre-half by Blaugrana boss Pep Guardiola since arriving at Camp Nou from Liverpool in 2010.

Indeed, Mascherano lined out alongside Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique in a three-man defence in Saturday night's 2-0 win over Mallorca and was extremely pleased with how he performed.

“I feel great playing in the back-line, even though my position on the right-hand side is a bit weird for me," the 27-year-old told his club's official website. "But we did a good job and our defence was great."

Mascherano was thrilled with the victory in Palma as Barca had overcome the loss of Thiago to a red card during the second-half to secure a victory which keeps them in with a chance of overhauling Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

“We just have to do our work in the best way possible but always looking to see how the leaders are doing," he mused.

“Against Mallorca we kept our composure. We withstood the pressure after losing a player and with the second goal [from Pique on 79 minutes], the game got a bit easier because there wasn’t much time left.

“It was a difficult match but starting tomorrow [Sunday], we have to start thinking about AC Milan. The away leg will be important in the tie.”

Barcelona travel to San Siro for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with the Rossoneri on Wednesday night.

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