Rakitic: Barca always need Neymar

Ivan Rakitic takes issue with the notion Neymar has stepped up for Barcelona in Lionel Messi’s absence. ‘We always need him…’

Neymar created both goals for Rakitic as Barca beat BATE Borisov in Belarus on Tuesday night, the Croatia international having come off the bench early in the first half to replace the injured Sergi Roberto.

“I’m not used to scoring three so it would have been a little strange,” he replied, AS reports, when asked if he wished he’d scored a hat-trick.

“The important thing is to help the team [and] work well under pressure. We could have scored two or three more.

“It’s normal [that Barca had to struggle for the first goal]. They do their work and hope for our mistake. We’re happy and we have to continue like this.

“Hopefully [Sergi Roberto’s injury] is nothing serious. I haven’t had time to talk with him. Hopefully he can return as soon as possible.

“Neymar? He keeps going. Sometimes it’s better not to talk and he’s talking on the pitch. We’ll always need him. If he continues like this, even better.”

Rakitic also confirmed he and his wife were expecting another child after his goal celebration hinted as much.

“Yes, God willing. My wife and daughter put up with enough from me and now we look forward to another one joining our family,” he said.

Tags Ivan Rakitic Neymar
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