Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted that he feels “sad” at only being given a bit-part role at the club so far this season.
Having only missed four La Liga games last season, the Croatian international – who has previously been linked with a move to Manchester United – has already been absent from the starting lineup in five top-flight games so far this term.
Rakitic‘s last appearance in the league came at the end of October against Real Valladolid and, speaking to Universo Valdano on Movistar, the midfielder opened up on how he feels his playing time has been taken away from him by Barca boss Ernesto Valverde.
“How can I enjoy it?” he said when asked about his situation. “It’s like I’ve said many times, how does my little daughter feel when you take a toy from her?
“She feels sad. Well, I feel the same. They took my ball. I feel sad.”
Rakitic continued by saying that he still feels he has a lot to offer at the highest level.
“I understand and respect the decisions of the coach or a club or whatever, but I think I’ve given a lot in these five years and I’ve been at my peak here,” he said.
“And what I want is to be able to continue enjoying playing, that is the most important thing for me. I enjoy playing. I’m 31 years old, I’m not 38, and I feel at my best.”
Barcelona sit top of La Liga on 25 points, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference.