Rakitic: Hats off to Deportivo

Ivan Rakitic scored Barça's second goal on Saturday but Deportivo came back late. / MIGUEL RUIZ
The FC Barcelona midfielder talks about the lessons the team needs to learn while remaining optimistic despite losing a late lead for the second game in a row

Players are usually loath to talk about what happened after seeing a late lead evaporate in the final minutes of the game.

Nevertheless, FC Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who had scored earlier to put his team in the driver’s seat with a 2–0 lead, spoke to the media outside the dressing room after the disappointing 2–2 draw, Barça’s second tie in a row.

“We have to congratulate Deportivo because they played their game until the end,” he said. “ We had chances to score more and we just didn’t put away the game.”

Despite the less-than-desirable result, Rakitic did his best to remain optimistic. “Sometimes it’s tough to control what happens out on the pitch. We have to analyse it, talk about it, and improve,” he said. “We controlled the game, which was positive, but it hurts to draw after being up 2–0.”

“I would have preferred the three points to having scored a goal,” he said.

Here are the highlights of what some of the other players had to say after the game:

Andrés Iniesta:

“We made things easy for our rivals, who where down 2–0.”

“We have to refocus, we have a title in play [in Japan].”

“The Club World Cup is really important because it is part of the great work we did last year.”

Gerard Piqué

“Today and the last game against Valencia are games where we were up and playing well. These are things we have to improve upon and that will help us grow. It’s tough to take and we have to get up and dust ourselves off.”

“Deportivo deserve the point. They took a very good approach to the game.”

“We know it was going to be a tough game. Deportivo are a great team and they’re having a very good season.”

Sergio Busquets

“We have to learn how to close out our games and not let other teams come back. We’ve let four points slip away; but you can’t always win.”

“Now we’re ready for the Club World Cup and we’re excited and are preparing as best we can.”