Liverpool boss Benitez backs Mascherano for gold

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez hopes his Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano returns from Beijing with a gold medal.

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"It's a fantastic achievement for Mascherano," said Benitez. "To have the chance to win another gold medal is very positive for him. For a player of his age to have won so many trophies and picked up so much experience is amazing.

"I have been talking with him during the competition because he is a player who always wants to know the news from back here. He is enjoying the Olympic Games but he is aware of what is happening with Liverpool.

"We know of athletes winning more than one gold medal in other sports but I don't know if it's ever been done in football. It shows the mentality he has - he is a winner, he wants to win every game and every trophy.

"I have been in contact with him by email and by text messages during the competition and I will try to speak with him before the final to wish him well."

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