Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic raised a few eyebrows in Catalonia when it was reported that he was backing Barcelona’s greatest rivals, Real Madrid to win the Champion League.
Rakitic was apparently hoping that a European victory for Madrid would serve as a great boost for his Croatian team-mate Luka Modric ahead of Euro 2016.
Barcelona won the competition emphatically last season, with Rakitic scoring the opening goal in the final against Juventus. Barca were hoping to be the first side in history to retain their title but their defence of the trophy ended with a quarter-final defeat to Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid.
“I hope Real Madrid win the Champions League with Luka Modric, to boost our national team at Euro 2016,”
Ivan Rakitic, quoted in Tportal
The quote was met with outcry from Barcelona fans online, forcing the Croatian to take to social media to clarify his comments after Tportal indicated he was rooting for Real Madrid to win the Champions League.
Rakitic dismissed the quotes as being poorly translated… which in fairness was putting it lightly. The midfielder’s Twitter link to the article, in which his interview was published, shows no evidence whatsoever of him having backing Real Madrid to win the Champions League – let alone mentioning Luka Modric.
Some people need to change their translator…I wish Luka the best but I didn’t say I want Madrid to win the UCL https://t.co/7qVGZSyW8z
— Ivan Rakitic (@ivanrakitic) April 23, 2016
Barcelona fans can rest easy, the heart of their midfield hasn’t suddenly switched allegiances – far from it, Ivan Rakitic is often the culprit of some of the cheesiest Barcelona PR lines in history. Take this example where he describes the relationship between Messi, Neymar and Suarez.
“IT MAY SOUND LIKE AN EXAGGERATION, BUT THEY ARE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD, THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE HISTORY OF FOOTBALL.”
No loss in translation there… Ivan Rakitic just doesn’t help himself sometimes!