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'It will be weird to play against Andres Iniesta,' says Ivan Rakitic

Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 23, 2019, 03.39 PM (IST)

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic said to play against former Barca captain Andres Iniesta will be "little weird" as the Spanish giants are set to face Vissel Kobe of J League in a pre-season friendly. 

"It will be very special to play against them, even a little weird because until recently they have been part of the team and now we will have to face them and both parts, we'll have enjoy the game," said Rakitic while addressing the media.  

"Playing against Andres, especially, it will be weird for me because he is one of the best friends I have in football and now having to play against him, apart from all the quality he has and being friends, will be very special and hopefully I'll be able to enjoy a very special moment with him," he added. 

On Monday, Barcelona trained ahead of their pre-season friendly against the Premier League club Chelsea in the Rakuten Cup. 

After Chelsea, Barcelona will face Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper of Vissel Kobe on Saturday (27th July). 

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic accepts his days at the Nou Camp may be numbered, but for now he is concentrating on preparing for next season with the Spanish champions but said the rumours do not bother him. 

After the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and 31-year-old Sergio Busquets signing a new five-year deal last year, Barcelona’s midfield is looking a little crowded and the Croat could be the man shipped out this summer. 

“Does it bother me? No it doesn’t, I have to understand soccer in general works like that,” Rakitic said at a news conference in Tokyo when asked about any impending move.

Barcelona will start their La Liga campaign against Athletic Club Bilbao on Saturday, 17th August. 

Story highlights

Barcelona trained ahead of their pre-season friendly against the Premier League club Chelsea in the Rakuten Cup