Ivan Rakitic Gives Fans Surprise Gift on Barcelona Return [WATCH]

Ivan Rakitic

Getty Ivan Rakitic in action against Barcelona.

Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic had a surprise gift for supporters as he returned to the Camp Nou on Sunday, April 3 with his Sevilla side in La Liga.

Rakitic received a warm welcome from fans when his name was read out before kick-off and showed his appreciation after the full-time whistle. The midfielder went over to supporters to offer his shirt and ended up giving up his shorts too, as shown by ESPN’s Sam Marsden.

However, it wasn’t the happiest of nights for Rakitic as his side were beaten 1-0 by Barcelona thanks to a second-half goal from Pedri. The win sees Xavi’s side move above Sevilla and into second place in the table. The Catalans also have a game in hand on Julen Lopetegui’s team.

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Pedri Steals The Show For Barca

Rakitic spent six years at Barcelona and won four league titles, four Spanish Cups and the 2015 Champions League during his stay at the Camp Nou but was overshadowed by 19-year-old starlet Pedri on Sunday.

The Spain international struck a stunning goal to secure all three points for the hosts after 72 minutes of a tight contest. Pedri actually sat Rakitic down, then beat Lucas Ocampos before arrowing the ball across goal and into the back of the net, as shown by ESPN Deportes.

Pedri’s strike is his first from outside of the penalty area for Barcelona. The goal also means he now has two in his last seven outings for his club, which is as many as he scored in his previous 34 games, as highlighted by Opta.

Pedri Reacts To Barcelona Win

The Barcelona match-winner was happy to offer his thoughts after the final whistle about the crucial win that sends the Catalans into second place. Fans at the Camp Nou were heard chanting his name after his goal which went down very well with the youngster, as reported by Marca.

“It’s been crazy. They welcomed me very well from day one. They deserve it because they are the best fans,” he said. “We know that Sevilla is a good team, that it was difficult but we managed to get the result.”

Pedri also compared to his goal to the one he scored in the Europa League win over Galatasaray that helped send Barcelona into the quarter-finals of the competition.

“It’s similar to the one in Turkey. I made a couple of turns before picking my spot. The team has improved in many ways,” he explained. “We press much better, we are calmer on the ball, the signings up front have helped as well. We are a team, things are going well and we are happy to get second.”

Barcelona’s win extends the team’s unbeaten run in La Liga to 14 games. The Catalans are still a distant 12 points behind leaders Real Madrid, albeit with a game in hand, but look in good shape to finish the 2021-22 season as runners-up.

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