Ivan Rakitic: 'Letting Neymar go a really bad decision'

Rakitic: 'Letting Neymar go a bad decision'
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Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic suggests that the club perhaps could have done more to prevent Neymar from joining Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Ivan Rakitic has admitted that he found it tough saying goodbye to Neymar during the summer and has suggested that Barcelona should have done more to prevent his exit.

The superstar forward became the world's most expensive player when swapping Barca for Paris Saint-Germain in a £198m transfer after his release clause was triggered.

Barcelona chiefs were reportedly confident that Neymar would sign a new deal at the end of last season, only to be caught out when the Brazilian pushed ahead with his mammoth move.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Rakitic confessed that he is still coming to terms with his ex-teammate's decision to leave.

"For me personally, it was really hard, not only because he's one of the biggest players," he said. "But also, for me, because he's a big person. 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. If a team can buy him and he decides to leave Barcelona, we have to respect it and wish him the best 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."

Neymar has started life at the Parc des Princes in style, playing a direct part in 10 goals across his first six appearances, but he is said to have been left out of PSG's squad for this weekend's trip to Montpellier.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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