Mixed emotions for Barcelona's Rakitic ahead of Sevilla final
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic has mixed emotions about Sunday's King's Cup final when he will come up against former club Sevilla.
The Croatia midfielder made his mark in La Liga with the Andalusian club, winning the Europa League in 2014 before joining Barcelona.
Rakitic has such fond memories of his time at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium that he promised on Friday not to celebrate should he score against his former team.
“I wouldn’t (celebrate), out of respect for the fans of Sevilla," he told a news conference.
The 28-year-old Rakitic said he was a Sevilla fan in midweek when his old team played in a third straight Europa League final and came from behind to beat Liverpool 3-1.
"On Wednesday, I celebrated Sevilla winning but on Sunday, I want to beat them," he said.
Barca beat Sevilla in the European Supercup ahead of the season, while they each won their home league match against the other. Rakitic says it always special when the clubs meet.
“But this time it’s even more special, because it’s a final," he said.
Sevilla will be without centre back Timothee Kolodziejczak through suspension and left back Benoit Tremoulinas due to injury.
The Andalusian club have lifted the King's Cup five times while Barca, who claimed the trophy last season as part of a treble-winning campaign, have won the competition on 27 occasions.