Rakitic disappointed by Barcelona’s ‘bad decision’ to part away with Neymar

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Ivan Rakitic says it was a “bad decision” for Barcelona to sanction the record-breaking €222 million sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar – who spent four years with Barca, during which time he netted 105 goals in 186 appearances – joined Paris Saint-Germain this summer in a world-record transfer.

Barcelona had a difficult start to life without Neymar, losing the SuperCopa de Espana to Real Madrid. However, Barcelona have quickly picked themselves from ashes and made an excellent start to the LaLiga and Champions League campaign.

Though, Rakitic is still bitter about the club allowing the player to leave, even after the release clause was triggered and Barcelona had no say in the matter.

Filling such a void will not be easy, but Rakitic concedes that the club must accept and respect the decisions which have been made.

Speaking to BBC World Service, the 29-year-old Croatia international said: “For me personally, it was really hard, not only because he’s one of the biggest players; also, for me, 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.”

Part of the fee Neymar brought in was spent on the likes of Paulinho and Ousmane Dembele, but Rakitic concedes that the 25-year-old will be a big miss at Camp Nou.

“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 [of] 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,” he added.

PSG paid the release clause of €222million to make Neymar the most expensive player in footballing history and this went down as the biggest transfer ever.

Since the transfer, Neymar has went and impressed on every level in France, be it in the Ligue 1 or even in the Champions League against Celtic.