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Ivan Rakitić Jokes: ‘Luka Modrić is a Bigger Barcelona Fan than Me’

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The Croatians will play the World Cup final this weekend

Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ivan Rakitić has revealed in an interview he jokes with Luka Modrić that the Real Madrid midfielder is an even bigger Barcelona fan than the Barcelona player himself.

“Many times I joke with him, telling him not to get mad, because he is even more culé than me,” Rakitić said about his Croatian teammate. “When we were young we all had a favorite team, and it’s no secret that Luka loved the claret and blue colors.”

Modrić’s affinity for Barcelona has been well-known for a while. However, he ultimately signed for Real Madrid after leaving Tottenham Hotspur.

“But today I can say, because he’s such a great professional, we have ‘lost’ him,” Rakitić said. “He is 100% Madridista.”

Rakitić went on to say that he wishes that his compatriot had also joined Barcelona:

“Sometimes when we play against each other, I joke with him when we exchange shirts after the game. ‘Now you have the shirt you really wanted to take home,’ I tell him. It’s a shame that he didn’t end up at the Camp Nou, but it’s also an honor to compete against him for La Liga or the UEFA Champions League. It’s quite special for Croatia to enjoy his class.”

The pair will lead Croatia in their FIFA World Cup final against France.