Ivan Rakitic gave an interview to Croatian newspaper, Sportske Novosti, and spoke Neymar, El Clásico and a very sad Christmas for one of the two teams involved.
The Croatian international says he was sad to see Neymar go but that it does not necessarily have to be a bad thing, "Neymar is one of the best players in the world," Rakitic acknowledged, "but sometimes the best players in the world don't make up the best team," he added.
"Up until now, we have compensated for his absence with a collective effort," he said, "together, we put more effort into every game and we have been winning," he continued.
The Christmas Clásico
On the Clásico, which is taking place on the 23rd of december and just two days out from Christmas, Rakitic jokes, "Someone is going to have a sad Christmas. It's a joke, we treat it like another big game. We have memories of some good moments in Madrid, I'm sure that we can play for the win, that would be a nice way to end the year."
Ernesto Valverde's side are unbeaten this season and lead the league by five ahead of Valencia and site eight ahead of Real Madrid in fourth.