Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has denied claims in the media that he wants Real Madrid to win the Champions League.
Los Cules won the competition last season but were knocked out at the quarter final stage this time round by La Liga rivals Atletico de Madrid. The Vicente Calderon side take on Bayern Munich in one semi final, while Real take on Manchester City in the other.
In an interview with Croatian paper Sportske Novosti, Rakitic was asked if Barca’s elimination from the competition could help him keep fresh as he prepares for the European Championships with his country this summer.
He responded by saying that if players win be trophies, the euphoria of doing so rubs off onto other team mates in the squad and the tiredness become less of an issue. He went on to wish Luka Modric luck.
“Each of us want big trophies and, if you succeed, tiredness is less important. There would have been enough time left to recover. That is why I wish Luka Modric would win that trophy because it would be another stimulation to all of us,” he said.
The comments have been interpreted as him backing Madrid to win the trophy for an 11th time. In a bid to defuse angry among Barca fans, Rakitic took to social media to say: “Some people should change translators. I wish the best to Luka, but I have never said that I want Real Madrid to win the UCL,”