Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic – a former captain of Sevilla – has praised fans of Real Betis for their standing ovation of Lionel Messi.
The Argentine star netted a sensational hat-trick in the Blaugrana’s 4-1 victory at Los Verdiblancos on Sunday night, with his chipped finish for his third earning him a round of applause from the entire stadium.
“The ovation to Leo? Everyone knows that I am very Sevillista but I have a lot of respect for the Betis fans, they have had a great deal of respect for Leo,” Rakitic told Barca TV, as cited by El Desmarque.
“I have respect for that and I congratulate them for that great gesture.”
The victory put Barca ten points clear at the top of La Liga.