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Mascherano hails Liverpool's mental strength (PSV.nl)

1 okt 2008 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl


Liverpool Coach Rafael Benitez has the luxury of a fully-fit squad to choose from when his team takes on PSV at Anfield tonight. Midfielder Javier Mascherano, who was sidelined for two weeks with a calf injury, returns to the team. The 24-year-old Argentinian won a gold medal at the Olympic Games and is hungry for more honours.
'The pain stays with you for many weeks'
The diminutive midfielder, capped 42 times by Argentina, is driven on by the pain of defeat rather than the trophies that he has won. 'When you win, you can celebrate for 30 minutes and then it's finished. But when you lose, the pain stays with you for many weeks, months or even years. That's what drives me on', says the Argentinean ahead of PSV's clash with Liverpool. He refers to Liverpool's Champions League defeat to AC Milan in 2007. The agony of final defeat to AC Milan was still fresh when Liverpool fell short in their semi-final exit to Chelsea last season. 'Everyone was sad after the defeat to Chelsea. It's difficult to explain this exactly. But that's what drives me on.'
The Champions League is a dream for me
Having not won the domestic championship for more than 18 years, Liverpool supporters regard the Premier League as the Holy Grail, but Mascherano claims winning the Champions League remains the pinnacle for most players. 'The Champions League is a dream for me,' he says. 'I will try to win things with Liverpool. We've got the players and team to win trophies, but it's too early to start talking about titles. We know we're going to fight for it, but we'll only know by the end of the season how it's gone for us. The World Cup is the most important competition for any footballer, but then comes the Champions League. So tonight we may make a major step forward.'