Ivan Rakitic: Neymar decision a ‘bad’ one
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has spoken out regarding Neymar’s departure from the club, calling it a ‘bad decision’.
Neymar moved to Paris Saint Germain in August for a for a world-record fee of €222 million.
The Croatian international, 29, who moved to Barcelona back in 2014, was speaking to BBC World Service, and lamented the loss of the Brazilian’s personality as much as anything else.
“For me personally, it was very hard, not only because he's one of the biggest players, but also, for me, because he's a big person,” started the 84-cap Croatian star.
" He was really important for our dressing room, and for me he's one of the best guys I know in football. So, for me it was really a bad decision because I liked to have him in my team."
The decision to sanction Neymar’s move to PSG was outside of Barcelona’s remit after the Paris club paid his release clause but, while disappointed, Rakitic respects his former colleague’s decision.
“We have to respect Neymar's decision to move. If a team can buy him and he decides to leave Barcelona, we have to respect it and wish him the best luck.
“Hopefully he can score a lot of goals and be happy in Paris, but we have to go on our way and be strong together without Neymar now.”
Neymar has hit four goals and four assists in five league games for his new club.