Primera División

Rakitic strips to his underwear: African football fans are impressed

19:48 EAT 04/04/2022
Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla
Some of the continent’s soccer supporters were impressed with what they saw from the Sevilla star against Barcelona

by Joel Omotto

Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic sent the internet into a frenzy when images of him stripping down to his underwear to gift his full kit to Barcelona fans went viral on Monday.

Rakitic, who spent six years at Barcelona where he won 13 trophies, clearly still has affection for the Blaugrana supporters, and African football fans certainly saw the fun in him giving all he’s got to the fans who still adore him.

“I would have demanded the boxers if I was there,” commented Wirba E Fourtyfive on Facebook.

Enechi Kevin said: “It is abnormal to be normal. I thought this craze dwells only here in Naija, but look, these are the monsters the society has created. We are in this together.”

For some Barcelona fans on the continent, the gesture was particularly heart-warming.

“Barca fans are grateful to Ivan for all the memories. We will never forget. Once a Culer, forever a Culer,” commented Chizoba Victor Samuel, while Peter Akhigbe concurred with him, saying: “Once a legend, always a legend. Rakitic will be one of us. Much love.”

“A man who loves his fans. I have always loved Rakitic. Grateful to Culers for welcoming him well at Camp Nou,” Light Jonah also commented.

For some, it is just good the incident did not happen in Africa.

“My country people would have concentrated on the Katundu,” said Mubanga D Fundulu, while Gashu Tena, added: “And most amazingly, his name Rakitic is closer to the Amharic "Rakut" which literally means being naked.”

Nwachimereze Tedus Chidubem Gentle did not see anything unusual with the midfielder’s gesture.

“Every footballer can do this except N’Golo Kante. Shy, shy player,” he commented, while Taoheed Abubakar thinks this move may go on to inspire others.

“Maguire is excited seeing this. He plans to do the same when he scores or assists an own goal next.”

“Gives everything…unlike Maguire,” was Mohamett Dayax’s assessment, as supporters—it seems—can’t help but criticise the embattled Manchester United man.

“Rakitic has gone mad because of Pedri's classic goal. Pedri is the best player in the world in his position. Period,” said Nana Boateng, suggesting an alternative theory behind Rakitic’s display.

“Actually, he had to. Even the boots and socks should have gone after what Pedri did to him,” said Vuyo Sibiya.

Rakitic was on the losing side as Barcelona won 1-0, extending their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions, to move up to second in the league, two points ahead of Sevilla.