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"Players can't complain about bans, we all know the rules"

Mascherano said all players have been warned about insulting referees, after Sergio Ramos was banned for five games for insulting a referee during Real Madrid's 4-0 win over Celta.


"Players can't complain about bans, we all know the rules"

Barcelona's Javier Mascherano gave a press conference on Friday, in which he revealed that he thinks La Liga is the best league in Europe, and better than the Premier League.

The Argentine also said that no player can complain about being suspended for using foul language, in light of Sergio Ramos's five-game ban for insulting a referee.

He also praised compatriot Leo Messi for winning a record-breaking fourth Ballon d'Or but highlighted the form of Barcelona's other strikers too.

Ramos's five game suspension: "It's not up to me to judge what the Discipline Committee should decide. What I can tell you is that we are all warned (about dissent). We have no excuse if we do or say something wrong, we know the precedents. Everyone has to do their job. The Committee exists to decide what is ok and what is not ok. We (players) should have no complaints if we get suspended because we know what the punishments are."

Messi's awards: "He's on the way to becoming a legend and this will go down in history. He is still playing and because he is so young we cannot fully appreciate the significance of everything he does. We are talking about a boy who, at the age of 25, has achieved what no-one else in the history of football has, by winning the Ballon d'Or four times."

Barça's form: "We are on a fantastic run. The second half of the season will be judged by the trophies we win but we just have to keep doing what we have been doing. The team are playing well, it doesn't matter who is playing, everyone works together, we all are fighting for the same cause. We all feel a part of this, even if an important player is missing, the team that goes out onto the pitch will always play well."

Alexis and Villa both scored twice against Córdoba, and Pedro scored twice against Espanyol. How important is it for all the club's forwards to score goals? "It's very important for all our forwards to score goals, it helps their confidence. It's vital for players to go on goalscoring runs, and it's important for the team if we want to fight for three competitions. We can't just depend on one player, even if he is the best in the world, everyone has to contribute, and we are talking about top level players like Pedro, Alexis and Villa, who have great qualities."

His career: "I have been at many teams in my career but I can't compare my time here to anywhere else, with all respect to the other teams. This is the best team I've been at and it's the best team I will ever play for."

Tito Vilanova's illness: "As he said, it's a very personal situation. It's his illness and he wants to maintain his privacy, the best thing we can do is to leave him in peace. When someone's health is at stake everything else becomes secondary, nothing is as important as someone's health. He has to do whatever he has to do to get better."

Which is better, the Spanish league or the English league? "Things go in cycles. When I was in England everyone said the English league was the most powerful because their teams dominated the Champions League. I think that now, the Spanish league has the teams that have won the most Champions Leagues and got to the semi-finals the most times, and it's the same in the Europa League. This proves that the Spanish league dominates Europe, just like the Spanish national side, and nearly all of their players play in La Liga."

Estadísticas AS.com