Ivan Rakitic: Barcelona squad is short, but those in charge knew that

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has appeared to criticise those running the club by admitting that the squad is too small.

The Croatian international was speaking after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Napoli in the Champions League Round of 16 – but Quique Setien’s side have squad concerns ahead of the second leg.

The Blaugrana will be without two of their three central midfielders for the second leg as Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal will both miss out due to suspension.

Rakitic has now become even more important for the second leg, and is likely to start the return at the Camp Nou while Arthur Melo and Sergi Roberto are also in contention.

“Our squad is short but those responsible already knew this,” Rakitic told reporters after the game, as cited by Marca.

“The solution is what it is, and those of us in the squad now need to pull together ahead of a very important return leg.

“We knew it was going to be very difficult, it’s hard to play against a team that closes down space so much. We made a mistake and they scored.”

The Catalan giants have suffered two traumatic exits from the Champions League in each of the past two seasons, at Roma and Liverpool respectively.

They are hopeful of reaching just their second Champions League final since winning the competition in 2011.

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