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Mascherano: Tito now has pressure

Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano believes his new club boss Tito Vilanova will have to learn how to deal with the extra pressure at the Catalan club.

Vilanova, 42, was Pep Guardiola's assistant during his four-year reign at the Nou Camp, but took the top job during the summer following his friend's departure.

"Tito will now carry the pressure,'' Mascherano told AS. "Until now he was a lower-profile coach and all the responsibility fell on Guardiola. Now he has to assume the main role. With the move from assistant to manager he has gained notoriety.

"Today all the attention falls on him but he has always been an important part in the success of the team. Every one of us ought to respond in the same way.''

Mascherano, however, believes everyone at Barcelona will benefit from having a rejuvenated Leo Messi in the ranks.

Messi played in the same Argentina side as Mascherano in the Copa America last year, with this summer being one of only two in the previous five, where the Barcelona No. 10 hasn't had to travel to a major tournament.

"He has returned in good shape,'' Mascherano added. "It is true pre-season matches are to remember the habits, but the fact he has had a month's rest has been proven to have an effect. This season he will be fresher.''


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