Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted he misses his former teammate Neymar, and accepted his team have lost a bit of their creative magic since his departure, despite a strong start to the 2017/18 season.
After Neymar turned the footballing world upside down with his record-breaking move to Paris Saint-Germain, while Barcelona were expected to suffer this season in his absence.
Surprisingly, Ernesto Valverde's side have so far excelled, leading La Liga by four points after 13 games, and are already eight points above bitter rivals Real Madrid.
However, Croatian maestro Rakitic has recently confessed in an interview with Mundo Deportivo (via the Daily Star) that he still misses the Brazilian.
"We had a bit more 'show' when Ney was here, maybe we lack that a little bit now. That was brought by Ney himself.
"I would prefer him to be here. If I had a magic wand, I would have him by my side. We've spoken about Ney a lot, though, but he's not here any more and we're doing really well."
"I miss him, too, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room," he added.
Rakitic also commented on the hysteria surrounding Neymar's purported regret over the move, and his strained integration at the club, despite impressing.
He added: "It's been the same for me before. When I left Germany for Sevilla, I missed everyone.
"Then when I came here, I was going back to Seville whenever I could. Later, you get used to your new surroundings and teammates.
"The strength of this team is in its values in the dressing room. We miss Ney. Whether he regrets leaving or not, you'd have to ask him."
Barcelona maintained their imperious start to this campaign on Wednesday night, defeating Real Murcia 8-0 on aggregate in their Copa del Rey clash to advance to the last 16.