Copa del Rey Final: Ivan Rakitic Expects Tough Challenge Against Former Club Sevilla
Rakitic joined Barcelo na from Sevilla in the summer of 2014, but in his Friday press conference he said that the club which brought him to Spain will always have a place in his heart.
“I wish all the best for Sevilla. They have got to the final and I wish them luck up to that point,” he said.
Sevilla won the Europa League for the third consecutive season on Wednesday, which Rakitic said “was enough” for this season.
“I hope they understand that I will have to give 100 percent on Sunday,” he added, although he admitted that if he did score a goal, he would not celebrate.
“I will lower my head and show respect to the supporters of the city. I won’ t celebrate. I have Sevilla in my heart,” commented the Croatian.
Rakitic added that should Barca complete a league and cup double, it would mean the season had been a success.
“The most important thing is winning the league, it is the hardest thing to win and we have worked at it for 10 months. Winning it means we have had a spectacular season. We wanted to win the Champions League but it was not to be (Barca lost in quarter-finals) and now we want the double. If we win that it would be the icing on the cake,” said Rakitic.
Meanwhile a judge on Friday overturned the decision taken by the Government Delegate in Madrid to prohibit Barcelona fans from taking the pro-Catalan independence ‘Estelada’ flag into the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
Concepcion Dancausa had forbidden the flag, which is not illegal in Spain, alleging it could provoke “racism and xenophobia,” prompting FC Barcelona to launch an immediate appeal to the Spanish Constitutional Court.
That Court ruled that “under no circumstances has it been proved that the exhibition of the ‘Estelada’ could incite violence, racism or xenophobia or any other form of discrimination which could affect human dignity.”