Rakitic has reflected on his six seasons at Barcelona alongside Lionel Messi, comparing his former teammate’s consistency and ability to that of a video game.
Ivan Rakitic joined Barcelona in 2014 before returning to Sevilla in time for the current season.
The 33-year-old spoke to Goal about the pair’s time together and his hopes for Messi’s future.
Rakitic on Leo Messi
“A player always wants to compete with and enjoy the best players and when it’s the best of them all, it’s even better,” Rakitic said of Messi. “It was an incredible six years, you learn a lot of things.
“I look at Leo, who has gone nine seasons in a row scoring at least 30 goals, and it seems like a video game.
“If you do that on the Playstation, they’ll tell you that you’re messing with people and you know all the tricks. You simply have to enjoy it every day.
“I am proud to have spent so many years with him, to have fought for so many titles and to have won so many titles with him.
“Sincerely, if I’ve been able to help him, even a little bit, it’s very special. It was very special to share a dressing room with so many great players at Barcelona.”
Rakitic on Messi’s future
As the 33-year-old enters the final weeks of his contract with Barcelona, speculation about his next move has been rampant.
Messi has remained tight-lipped about his future plans, though he has been linked with a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City or a lucrative transfer to PSG.
Rakitic, on the other hand, is optimistic that Messi will choose to stay in Barcelona, where he has been since the beginning of his professional career.
“I don’t know [what he’ll decide], I hope that he stays,” Rakitic said. “Not just at Barcelona but here in Spain in La Liga. I believe that as fans we can say that the best for us is that he stays at Barca.
“As a friend and former team-mate, I wish the best for him and his family, and that he decides what he believes is best for him.”