Before the Copa del Rey semifinal, Ivan Rakitic reminded Messi about the only trophy he will never lift throughout his entire career.
Ivan Rakitic’s message to Leo Messi seems like a tasteless joke at first glance but the context makes it quite hilarious. The Croatian midfielder is going through his second spell at Sevilla FC and he was recently interviewed by La Liga TV channel. During this sit-down, he spoke about the amazing experience as a Barcelona player. We often forget Rakitic arrived at the club where players like Xavi or Iniesta were still in their prime.
Regardless, Ivan still became a key player for the Catalan club during his first season. He won the treble and continued to win several La Liga titles for many years. Today, he faces his former club from the bench. Out of all the build-up for this game, Rakitic revealed a heartwarming story of a conversation he had with Messi before this game. You might think it’s a bad joke because Messi still hasn’t won the World Cup but Rakitic makes sure he clarifies which title he is referring to.
The title Messi will never lift.
If you get confused by Rakitic’s joke, you might think he could refer to the World Cup. However, the Croatian midfielder is talking about the Europa League. This is what he said on La Liga TV: “When I arrived at FC Barcelona, the hunger those players still had was incredible. I was lucky to spend one year training with Xavi and a few more with Iniesta. There was so much I learned from both inside and off the pitch. Nobody gave them anything for free.
“They earned everything they won. It’s no coincidence they won every imaginable title. Every player had a role to play. Each of them did things his way but always with the intention to win. In Berlin, we said we needed to remain together in order to remain invincible during the Champions League final. I spoke with Messi and told him he won everything and scored so many goals. But I’ve won a trophy he will never lift: the Europa League.”