- Ivan Rakitic has stated that he is lucky to play alongside Lionel Messi
- The pair played 311 games together during his six-year spell at Barcelona
- The Croatian midfielder rejoined Sevilla in the summer after Koeman's arrival
Ivan Rakitic is not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to speaking highly about his former teammate Lionel Messi.
During his six-year spell at the Camp Nou the Croatian midfielder won La Liga trophies, Champions League titles and several other silverware.
The 32-year-old who left La Blaugrana during the transfer summer to Sevilla was asked to air his thoughts about Messi.
The 2018 World Cup runner-up with Croatia told FIFA.com:
"One hundred per cent football. It doesn’t matter who you are, you just have to watch and enjoy this guy.
"He’s on another level. With all respect to the other greats, there’s only one number one – it’s Leo.
"To play 311 games next to him, it was a dream. I enjoyed it so, so much. I just want to say this:
"Thank you for everything, Leo, because you’ll never know how much it meant to me to play next to you."
Rakitic along with Luis Suarez, Aturo Vidal and Nelson Semedo left Barcelona following the arrival of Dutch boss Ronald Koeman in the summer.
And the Croatian has fitted in well on his return to Sevilla and has been influential in their campaign this season.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that 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.
Legit.ng also reported that Sevilla who are the reigning Europa League champions have announced the signing of Croatia international Ivan Rakitic from rivals Barcelona on a four-year deal.
Ivan Rakitic will now be returning to Sevilla after spending six years with Barcelona winning the Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League titles with the Catalans.
His exit at the Camp Nou came following the decision of new Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman who has told some players to find new club this summer.
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