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12:00 AM UTC May 26, 2018
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3:00 AM UTC May 26, 2018
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ESPN3 6:45 PM UTC May 26, 2018
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Rakitic trusts Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez on Barcelona penalties

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic says he would take over as his team's penalty taker if asked -- but is not concerned by the form of the club's star forwards.

Barca's issues from the spot continued on Thursday evening as Luis Suarez saw his effort saved by Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Juan Carlos, although it did not matter too much as the Blaugrana won 5-1 to restore their eight-point advantage at the top of the tale.

They have now failed to convert nine of the 18 penalties they have been awarded during this campaign, with the "pass penalty" taken by Lionel Messi and finished by Suarez against Celta Vigo in February recorded as a technical miss.

Neymar missed from the penalty spot against Valencia last month.

Rakitic was Sevilla's designated taker during his three seasons at the Andalusian club, and was asked by Canal Plus after Thursday's game if he would perhaps volunteer to take over the duty. But Rakitic believes his team's big name attackers do not need his help.

"We trust in our forwards always," the Croatia international said. "We know that a missed penalty can happen. I have also missed penalties in my career. I am here if they do want me, but I'm sure the next one will go in anyway."

Messi, Suarez and Neymar have all missed at least two penalties already this season -- as has Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo -- with Barca's total of seven failures in La Liga already a record.

The situation has become so strange that Gerard Pique claimed on Periscope after the game that Javier Mascherano had been offered a chance to take the penalty, and score what would have been his first ever goal after more than 250 appearances for the Camp Nou outfit.

"We asked 'Masche' if he wanted to take the penalty, but he did not feel confident to take it," Pique said.

The Spain defender also showed his followers his postmatch meal, which included a pizza, chocolate spread sandwiches, a soft drink and some fruit.


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