Rakitic: Barcelona-Real Madrid resentment is good

The Croatian believes the rivalry between the sides motivates both teams to reach greater heights

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic says the hostility between the club and arch-rivals Real Madrid is healthy and constructive.

The two sides have endured a long and simmering rivalry, which continued this season as Barca won La Liga ahead of second-placed Madrid before going on to win the treble.

And Rakitic believes their success would not have been possible without the “resentment” between the pair.

“There’s a resentment between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and that’s normal,” last summer’s signing from Sevilla told Onda Cero

“In fact, that’s what makes football nice. The important thing is to fight for your club, and improve and grow as a result.

The midfielder’s team-mate Gerard Pique created more tension by taking a swipe at Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo during Barcelona’s treble celebrations.

The centre-back thanked a musician, Kevin Roldan, for performing at the forward’s 30th birthday following the club’s 4-0 defeat to Atletico, citing that weekend as the moment Barca’s season came to life.

However, Rakitic has defended Pique and believes his comments were nothing more than harmless fun.

“It [Pique’s statements regarding Kevin Roldan] was a moment of great emotion, without malice. He is team-mates with Madrid players for Spain, and he gives 100 per cent fighting alongside them.”

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