Rakitic: I hope Modric plays well… as long as Madrid lose

The Barcelona man wished his Croatia international counterpart all the best ahead of the Champions League final, but still hopes he loses

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic wished his compatriot Luka Modric all the best for Real Madrid’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid, but still hopes he is on the losing side.

Last season’s European champions Barcelona will be watching the showdown from home this time around, as their two closest rivals in La Liga battle it out for European supremacy.

A win for Madrid would be their 11th triumph in the competition, while Atletico are chasing a maiden Champions League crown.

And Rakitic, who previously courted controversy with his comments that he had hoped Madrid would win, said he hoped that Croatia team-mate and friend Modric played well – so long as los Blancos lost.

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“I have to be honest, I won’t see it – I’ll be with my family,” Rakitic said when asked for his thoughts on the final.

“I always wish him the best as a team-mate and friend. I hope he scores five goals in every game but that he doesn’t win!”

Rakitic also had words of encouragement for Alen Halilovic after a promising season on loan with Sporting Gijon – which he said should bode well for the youngster’s career with Barcelona.

“I hope it keeps going well for him. He’s had a great year at Sporting and if his team-mates have given him such recognition, I think that’s great,” the 28-year-old continued.

“He’s obviously been doing well there but he’s pretty young, he has to keep going. Everyone in Croatia can be pretty happy with what he’s doing.”

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