Ivan Rakitic has offered his thoughts on Lionel Messi’s future amid speculation the captain will walk away from Barcelona when his contract expires next summer.
The Croatia midfielder, who swapped Barcelona for Sevilla last summer, knows Messi well from his six years at the Camp Nou.
LaLiga Santander player Rakitic, speaking at an event for LiveScore, said he hopes Messi does decide to extend his stay with the Catalan giants.
“I hope that he has a lot of years left and that he decides what is best for him and for FC Barcelona. I had six amazing years playing with him at FC Barcelona and it’s really amazing to have played with him and been on the same team, so hopefully he can stay many more years at FC Barcelona.”
Rakitic also offered his thoughts on the 2020-21 La Liga season so far. Barcelona have suffered a poor start to the campaign and have been beaten four times already in their opening 11 games.
The 32-year-old explained why he thinks his former team have found it tough going so far under new coach Ronald Koeman.
“I think it’s not just about FC Barcelona, it’s maybe also about the situation in general. All the other teams in La Liga Santander have taken steps forward, so the level of competition is now much higher, and these games all are really difficult to play in. All these things make it more difficult.
“Also, for a big team to change their coach and some players can mean sometimes it’s not easy to adjust but for me it’s still clear that FC Barcelona have an amazing team. They still have the best player in the world in Lionel Messi. One of the best things about football is that all teams are competitive and want to beat one another so you have to be ready and if you’re not you can begin losing. I think FC Barcelona will get up to their high standards again and you can expect them to be at 100% soon again for sure.”
Barcelona take on Real Sociedad on Wednesday night in a match which will provide a real test for Koeman’s men. Rakitic and Sevilla, who are in fifth place in the table currently, are back in action on Saturday against Real Valladolid.
Ivan Rakitic was speaking at an event for LiveScore, Official Global Scoring Partner of LaLiga Santander. LiveScore’s iOS and Android app is available to download now: www.livescore.com/mobile