Ivan Rakitic put an end to his six-year stint in Barcelona and will return to Sevilla, where he had played before joining the Catalan club. During a press conference, the Croatian midfielder expressed his gratitude to the club and talked about Lionel Messi's decision to leave Barcelona.
Barcelona president Josep Marian Bartomeu has already posted a Tweet of Rakitic with all the trophies the midfielder has won at Barca. However, fans are still thinking about the future of the Argentina superstar, who has been linked with a move to Manchester City.
While Messi's father and agent, Jorge Messi, tries to reach and agreement with Bartomeu and the rest of the Barcelona board, Rakitic said goodbye to the fans, club officials and his teammates.
Rakitic sends a message to Messi
During the press conference, Rakitic was asked about Messi's decision to leave Barcelona. And the Croatian midfielder answered: "I think each player made his own analysis and decisions. You have to understand that for me, I have seen that it is time. What Leo will do or what other players will do, I think you have to ask them."
However, that was not all, as journalists kept asking him about Messi and the possibility of a move to another team. "The first option and the best option for all players, is always the Barca," Rakitic said. "Everyone has to make their own decision and have their own ideas. You have to respect everyone's opinion. I prefer to give them mine because I know mine. But for me, the first option would always be Barcelona".
Rakitic agreed a four-year deal with Sevilla, who paid an initial fee of €1.5 million for the experiencied midfielder. The UEFA Europa League champions would would paid a total of around €10.5 million.