A familiar face returns to Camp Nou tonight

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The La Liga title race is warming up as we approach the later stages of the current season, with Barcelona leading the table with a 5-point advantage over their traditional rivals Real Madrid. The La Liga tie between Barcelona and Sevilla thus can have a significant influence over the final league standings, as either of the top teams dropping points can cost them heavily.

Thus, the players and managers of both clubs are focused heavily on getting results to keep them within the title race. Barcelona have already shown an intent to give their all for winning the league, as they have won 16 matches in this campaign, drawn 2, and lost only 1 up till now. However, the absence of key players in the form of Alejandro Balde, who is out with a fever, and Ousmane Dembele, who is sidelined with an injury, can make things difficult for the Blaugranes.

Aside from the seriousness of the tie, there is also an emotional side to this match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla. The Cules attending the game in Camp Nou will be welcoming back Ivan Rakitic to the club, where he spent 6 seasons of his peak.

During these seasons, the Croat made 311 official appearances, with 21,578 minutes on the pitch. Despite having duties in the middle of the pitch, the Croat was able to score 36 goals in FC Barcelona colors, with his strike against Real Madrid still a cherished memory in most Cule minds.

While he declined physically and saw his support among the fans cool down to some extent in the later part of his FC Barcelona career, he was still an exemplary player. His conduct after leaving the club has only increased his stature among Barcelona fans, who will be greeting him with loud cheers when he returns to Camp Nou tonight.


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