Barcelona’s Rakitic’s eye now on Champions League final

Madrid, June 2 (IANS) Midfielder Ivan Rakitic says Barcelona are now thinking about just one thing: Adding the Champions League crown to the King’s Cup and La Liga titles they have already won this season.

Saturday night saw Barcelona claim a domestic double as they defeated Athletic Club Bilbao in the Cup final. But Rakitic, who last season joined Barca from Sevilla, on Monday said he and his team-mates had rapidly switched focus to Saturday’s European final against Juventus, reports Xinhua.

“We have only got one thing on our minds and that’s winning the Champions League final against Juventus in Berlin on Saturday,” he assured, insisting any celebrations would have to wait until that game was over.

“We can let our emotions run wild if we get our hands on the trophy, but there’s a match to play first,” he said, looking back on a campaign which saw Barcelona look unconvincing at the start of the season, but improve drastically after the New Year.

“The season is long and ups-and-downs are to be expected. It’s been important to keep our composure and our self-belief, and it’s no coincidence that we’ve found our best form late in the season,” commented Rakitic.

Meanwhile Juventus’ Spanish striker Alvaro Morata spoke on Spanish radio to say he was hoping to win the title to give some consolation to Real Madrid fans.

It’s been a disastrous season for Real Madrid, who were knocked out of the Champions League thanks to two goals from their former striker. But despite being key to Real’s disappointment, Morata remains a Madrid fan at heart and knows his former supporters will be backing Juventus.

“It’s logical, we’re playing against Barcelona. I want to win for our fans and also for what it would mean for Real Madrid fans too,” he said, although he admits that it will be hard to beat an in-form Barcelona.

“We’re facing one of the best sides in the world, but we’re keen to prove how good we are,” insisted Morata.

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