Ivan Rakitic: Barcelona players fully focused on winning on the pitch

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic insists the furore over the club’s possible Copa del Rey elimination did not impact on the ‘focused’ first-team squad.

A report in El Mundo claims that one of Barca’s players for their first leg defeat– Juan Brandáriz , better known as Chumi – was not sanctioned to play in the match due to being banned whilst playing for the club’s B side.

That means Barca could yet be thrown out of this year’s competition, despite progressing past Levante into the quarter-finals with a 4-2 aggregate victory.

“I have a strong desire to win the Copa, I have won it every year that I have been at the club,” Rakitic told reporters, as cited by Marca.

“I want to be in the draw for the quarter-final and it is important that we are, because the club has gone about this the right way and we have fought for this on the pitch.

“The Chumi suspension? I only found out a few hours before the game, when I woke up from my siesta and we all had lots of messages, but we were too focused to pay much attention.

“Nobody spoke about it because it is not something we can change, the important thing for us was to play a great game and keep going.”

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