Ivan Rakitic Insists Barcelona Must Win Their El Clasico Clash for Suspended Star Neymar

Joanna Durkan

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic says he wants to win ​Sunday's El Clasico for Neymar who misses the clash through suspension, according to ​Sky Sports

The Barca star is serving his second of a three-match suspension after sarcastically applauding the fourth official following his red card against Malaga, and although Neymar is set to be a big miss, Rakitic is confident his side can win  without him  at the Bernabeu.

Malaga CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Malaga CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Needing a victory on Sunday to maintain pressure on Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga, Rakitic is adamant  that his side has the firepower to produce their best form, even without the star Brazilian.

The 29-year-old said in the lead up to the El Classico: "I don't think it needs repeating that he is an important player.

"That (Neymar's suspension) is not good is so, but it is what it is. We need to understand the situation and push on.

Rakitic added: "In the past we have already shown that we can also win when Neymar isn't playing. Of course, it would be much better to have him with us, because he is one of the two or three best players in the world.

"We have a lot of confidence and we have a very strong team. We want to show Neymar that when he is not with us we can still do it, and hopefully we can take a victory for him."

The Brazilian has scored 15 goals in 40 appearances this season and his first red card in his Barcelona career could not have come at a more critical time for his side. 

With six games remaining in the season, Barca face their biggest test in their title defence without one of their key playmakers. 


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