Following Barcelona's 5-1 thrashing over Osasuna, Javier Mascherano revealed it was evident that his side were not fully fit going into the game.

Despite that, Lionel Messi still managed to guide the Catalan giants to victory once again, scoring four goals, while Pedro netted just before half-time.

The Argentinian midfielder told the club's official website: "In the first minutes, it was evident that we weren't fresh but as time passed the goals started to come."

Messi's four goals at the Nou Camp sees his La Liga goal tally rise to 202, becoming only the eighth player to pass the 200-goal milestone.

Mascherano added: "It is surreal to talk about Messi because he's from another world."

As the players walked out, Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was given a standing ovation from the Barca fans, after announcing he will not be renewing his contract at the club, which expires at the end of next season.

Mascherano said: "The fans should understand that he [Valdes] has every right to decide his future.

"He deserves the applause because he belongs to a select group of players that have won the majority of titles that the Club has won recently."

The win over Osasuna sees Barca extend their lead over Atletico Madrid to 11 points, while Real Madrid's win over Getafe sees them remain 15 points behind the Nou Camp outfit.

With Barcelona set to face arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Wednesday, Mascherano believes that the El Clasico will be a tough test, no matter what side the Los Blancos field.

The former Liverpool star added: "It doesn't matter how teams come into these matches, we're await that we're going up against a great Real Madrid [team].

"They'll go all out despite the fact that they'll be missing important players."

 

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