Rakitic: I thank God that I can play with Messi

The Croatia midfielder believes his teammate can keep playing for decades to come and praised Neymar and coach Luis Enrique.

Ivan Rakitic says he has to "thank God" for the chance to play alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona

The midfielder joined Barca from Sevilla this summer and has been in awe of the four-time Ballon d'Or winner in training, saying previously that the Argentina captain was "miraculous".

The Croatia star has heaped further praise on him, suggesting he can keep playing for decades to come and thanking God for the chance to be in the same team as him. 

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"Deco said the other day that Messi could play until he's 60. I say he could play until he is 70, or 80, or until he retires. I have to thank God for allowing me to play alongside him," he told Marca.

Rakitic also spoke highly of teammate Neymar and coach Luis Enrique.

"I played against [Neymar] at the Brazil World Cup and despite his young age, he can change a game. His skills are amazing.  

"As a coach, what you see is what you get [with Luis Enrique], he's a perfectionist and that's a good thing.

The 26-year-old admits his side faces a difficult season, admitting Real Madrid and reigning champion Atletico will put good challenges for the title.

"Based on the past few years, it looks as though both Madrid clubs will be in the mix, although there could be the odd surprise. Every game is tough and it's always hard to win games."

He also revealed he had been invited by his former club to see it in action against Real in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night.

"They've invited me to the game in Cardiff. I have nothing against Real Madrid, but I'm a Sevilla fan."