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Barcelona's Rakitic laments Neymar's departure for PSG

BARCELONA

Barcelona's Rakitic laments Neymar's departure for PSG

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has spoken to the BBC about Neymar's summer switch from the Camp Nou to Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic has lamented the departure of former club-mate Neymar, who left for Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record 222m euros this summer.

Speaking to the BBC, Rakitic admitted that he misses the Brazilian forward's influence on the Barça team both on and off the pitch.

"For me personally, it was really hard, not only because he's one of the biggest players; also, for me, he's a big person," Rakitic said.

Neymar "one of the best guys I know in football"

"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."

"We have to respect" Neymar's decision to move

But he added: "If a team can buy him and he decides to leave Barcelona, we have to respect it and [...] wish him the best [of] 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."

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