- Ivan Rakitic has opened up about his relationship with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez while at Barca
- The Croatian midfielder left Barcelona after he was told he will not be part of Ronald Koeman's plans
- Rakitic has rejoined Sevilla while Suarez is also on the verge of leaving the Camp Nou outfit this summer
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Ivan Rakitic is one of the influential footballers that left Barcelona this summer and the Croatian midfielder has claimed he was never close pals with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
The 32-year-old rejoined his former club Seviall during the summer window after being told he was surplus to requirement at the Camp Nou by Ronald Koeman.
Rakitic who spent six years with La Blaugrana and won four La Liga titles as well as the Champions League claims he only respects Messi and Suarez but was never friends with them.
Rakitic told El Desmarque:
"I've said my side. My relationship with them was never one of close friends. I believe that's hard in a group of 23 or 24 players.
"My closest friends were Andres Iniesta, [Marc-Andre] ter Stegen, [Kevin-Prince] Boateng and Junior Firpo last season.
"But I respect them both. They were my team-mates for six years and are very important players. I've always got on incredibly well and have the utmost respect for them.
"During the coronavirus lockdown, we've all been very close together, almost neighbours. I'm very thankful for how they've treated me over the years."
Suarez is currently working on getting a new club after falling out of favour with Koeman following a phone conversation that lasted for 60 seconds.
It is understood that the Uruguayan striker has terminated his contract in a bid to join Atletico Madrid this summer.
On the other hand, Messi has reversed his decision to stay at Barcelona for another season after initially handing a transfer request to his boyhood club.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Barcelona have reportedly planning to stop Luis Suarez from joining fellow Spanish League outfit Atletico Madrid before the end of this transfer window.
The 33-year-old was informed by the Catalans' new boss Ronald Koeman that he is no longer wanted at Camp Nou.
And since then he began shopping for a new club. He was initially meant to join Juventus but the move was botched due to passport delays and that brought Los Rojiblancos into the picture.
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