Ivan Rakitic in front of the press / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Ivan Rakitic is expecting a difficult game against Apoel FC in Nicosia on Tuesday evening. Appearing before the press in Cyprus on Monday, the Croatian said the home fans would create “a lot of pressure” and that they make life difficult for away teams. In previous matches in the GSP Stadium in Group F Apoel held Ajax to a draw and lost to PSG thanks a to a very late goal from Edinson Cavani.

For the Barça midfielder the Cypriots are a side who are no pushover. He went on to explain: “I know the club a little because I played here in the qualifying round with Schalke 04. I also have a friend who plays here in the league and I know we will have to be well prepared and put in a complete performance. They work hard here.”

There were a couple of questions referring to Leo Messi and his record breaking feats against Sevilla. “There are no words left to describe Messi. He is pure football. I am very proud to be out there with him on the field.” He also had praise for his team mate in midfield against Sevilla, Xavi Hernández: “I am very happy and grateful to be able to play in the same team as him. I enjoy it out on the field.”

Rakitic:APOEL fans will make it difficult by fcbarcelona

Rakitic vs APOEL

For Rakitic it will not be the first time that he has faced Apoel FC. The Croatian did not play in the game at Camp Nou but he did come up against the Cypriots when he was at Schalke 04 in a Europe League qualifier back in 2008/09. The Germans won 4-1 in Nicosia with Rakitic amongst the scorers. The Barça midfielder also started the return leg which ended in a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen.

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