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Mascherano: Messi is three players in one

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano feels Lionel Messi has the quality of three different types of players all in one.

Messi has already netted 19 goals in 16 outings in all competitions this term and chipped in with seven assists, and Mascherano believes there is no one out there who is as complete as the 29-year-old.

"When you start watching football and the big teams, you might see a goalscorer, or a player with quality, a midfielder who creates and scores goals," Mascherano told the official LaLiga YouTube account.

"But you do not ever see a total, complete player. And that is Leo. He is a creative player, a midfielder, but he is also a goal scorer. Finding three kinds of players in one is what makes him different.

"The capacity of a player who understands football better than anyone is what means he can keep adapting again and again to new circumstances. It is his capacity to see what is going on on the pitch, to reinvent himself.

"And he has not lost that goalscoring instinct. He can get three or four chances to score in a match and he will put most of them away.

"As he has got older, he has become more mature and a better player. He has got something different."

Barca face LaLiga leaders Real Madrid this weekend.