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Midfielder Ivan Rakitic sat down for an interview with La Liga to speak about the coming El Clásico, set for this Sunday at 8.45pm CET at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. Here are the highlights of what he had to say.

On his general impressions of the game:

“We want to win this game. We need to and we are going into it with a lot of confidence. In recent years, the games we have played there have been very good and we want to play the same way again this year.”

On what Barça are focusing on:

“With all due respect to Real Madrid, the most important thing is not how they are doing, but rather how we are doing. If we play at our level and we manage to control the game, I think we have a good chance to win this match.”

On how much Barça are motivated:

“Nobody is hungrier for victories than us. Knowing the Club and all its triumphs, we are very much up for more winning.”

On his memories of past El Clásicos:

“I have great memories of the 4–0 win [there, last season], not just because we won, but also how we did it, because we were very much superior.”

On his El Clásico experience when he played for Sevilla:

“I have already been lucky enough to score against Madrid, when I played for Sevilla. Now, hopefully I can do it with Barça. Nevertheless, I’d rather win than have even a single touch.”

On the keys to the game:

“Set pieces will be very important. Real Madid has players who specialize in them and we’ll have to be equal to or better than them in intensity and concentration.”

On the strong probability that Neymar will miss the game through suspension, pending a decision on Barça’s appeal:

“He’s one of the best three players in the world and it would be better to have him. But we’ve already show we can win without him.”

On reaching the milestone of 150 games played for Barça:

“I’m very happy and proud to have reached it. I have fun at this Club everyday and I hope for many more.”

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