Rakitic ‘ready take a penalty…’

Ivan Rakitic is ready to step up and end Barcelona’s penalty trouble but has confidence in the forwards to score from 12 yards.

Barca beat Sporting Gijon on Wednesday night to fulfil their week 16 commitments and saw Luis Suarez miss a penalty, days after Lionel Messi had passed to Suarez from the spot.

“I’m ready if I have to take a penalty but I have the utmost confidence in the forwards. I’m sure the next one will go in,” Rakitic said, Marca reports.

Barca are now six points clear of Atletico Madrid and seven ahead of Real Madrid, but Rakitic insists the focus is on Las Palmas despite the significant lead.

“There’s still a lot of games. A lot can happen. I don’t want to think about what will happen in two or three months, only what will happen this weekend,” he stressed.

“We want to enjoy this moment and do better in every game.

“The hope is to work well, not set records. What matters is what happens in May and that we want to be up there. We’re happy and working with all the humility. Important games remain.

“We’re enjoying it on the pitch and we’re working very well. This is a big family and we work for each other. We’re on a very positive path.”

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