Guardiola: Mascherano will stay at Barca with me

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola singled out Javier Mascherano for

credit after Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, saying

the Argentine defender would never leave the club as long as he was

in charge.

Guardiola has converted Mascherano from holding midfielder into

a full-time defender this season with Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal

having suffered long-term injuries.

The former Liverpool player again put in a strong performance

against Athletic and Guardiola says he has become a ”decisive”

and ”unique” player in his squad and he ”wouldn’t trade him for

anybody or ever sell him.”

Guardiola says Mascherano and Gerard Pique were ”immense” on

Saturday as Barcelona stayed within six points of leaders Real

Madrid with eight games to play.