‘Barca believed until the end’

Ivan Rakitic admits ‘it’s not easy to start again after the international break’ but insists Barcelona always ‘believed’ in their comeback at Sevilla.

A Lionel Messi-inspired Barca came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Sevilla on Saturday and ensure they remained unbeaten in La Liga.

“The team believed we could it turn around until the final whistle,” the midfielder, who won the Europa League with the Andalusians four years ago, said after the game.

“It was important to start well after the international break, even if it was difficult, but coming back like this gives us spectacular morale.

“Messi’s goal? It’s what he always does. It’s better when Leo plays as the whole team has faith in him.

“Sevilla? They deserved to lead by two goals, and once we went ahead, it was better for us, but they had 10 or 15 clear breaks.

“We had to play very openly, and in the end we got [the win], but we always have to improve always, not just for the [Copa del Rey] Final.

“Playing a Final is different to a League match. We’re very eager for it, but we still gave enough games before then.

“We have to be happy with this result, but we also have to improve, that’s clear. It’s not easy to start again after the international break.

“We have to sleep well and rest. Right now, football has to be the most important thing in our private life.

“We want to have the perfect season, and despite going behind here, we worked very well. We’re happy with what we did.”

Tags Ivan Rakitic