Javier Mascherano: Focus on Chelsea, not Real Madrid

Javier Mascherano
© PA Photos
Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano urges his teammates to focus on Wednesday's Champions League semi-final against Chelsea and not next weekend's La Liga showdown with Real Madrid.

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has urged his teammates to focus on Wednesday's Champions League semi-final against Chelsea and not next weekend's La Liga showdown with Real Madrid.

The Catalan club travel to Stamford Bridge in midweek for the first leg of their last-four tie against the Premier League side.

However, they would be able to cut Madrid's domestic lead down to a point with victory at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Despite the busy schedule, Mascherano believes that his team's focus should only be on their next match.

"The main thing right now is Wednesday's match. Afterwards, we'll think about the league and Real Madrid," the Argentine told reporters.

"We're in a Champions League semi-final and we have a great opportunity to reach the final. It would be a really big mistake to focus on Real Madrid first, because Wednesday's match is very difficult and will go a long way to deciding the tie.

"It'll be a really difficult tie that will depend a lot on getting a good result in the first leg against a team that has always been characterised by their tremendous physical strength, and which has some really experienced players."

Barca are bidding to become the first club to retain the Champions League trophy following its rebranding in 1992.

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TeamPGDPTS
1Atletico Madrid345285
2Barcelona346681
3Real Madrid336279
4Athletic Bilbao342262
5Sevilla341859
6Real Sociedad34754
7Villarreal341252
8Valencia34045
9Espanyol34-641
10Malaga34-641
11Levante34-1141
12Celta Vigo34-1140
13Rayo Vallecano34-2940
14Granada34-2037
15Elche34-1935
16Osasuna34-2535
17Real Valladolid33-1832
18Getafe34-2232
19Almeria34-3230
20Real Betis34-4022