Rakitic laments Neymar's Barcelona departure

Paris Saint-Germain made Neymar the world's most expensive player and former Barcelona team-mate Ivan Rakitic is missing him.

Happier times - Neymar and Ivan Rakitic during the former's time at Barcelona.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has opened up about the bitter blow of losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar became the most expensive player of all time when PSG triggered the Brazil star's €222million release clause to sign him in August.

It represented a stunning coup for the Ligue 1 side, but left Rakitic lamenting the loss of a star team-mate and close friend. "I'm not going to lie to you, I would prefer that Ney was here with us," the Croatia international said.

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"Apart from being a great player, he is a friend and I am very fond of him.

"After that, we have to continue. Barcelona is not one, two or five players. It is the biggest club in the world and we have to keep working.

"It would seem better to be able to count on him, but if he is not there, we join forces to be even better."

In Neymar's absence, Ernesto Valverde's side has ascended to the summit of La Liga, where it enjoys a nine-point lead. The Camp Nou club has also reached the last 16 of the Champions League.

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