Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic sorry for insulting Granada's Andreas Pereira
Ivan Rakitic has apologised after television cameras captured him insulting Granada's Andreas Pereira during Barcelona's 4-1 win at Nuevo Los Carmenes on Sunday.
Images from "El Golazo" on Gol TV appeared to show Barca midfielder Rakitic shouting, "Down to the second division, you son of a b----. You're going down," at Pereira, who is on loan at Granada from Manchester United. Granada currently sit 19th in the La Liga table.
"It was the heat of the moment," Rakitic was quoted as saying by AS after Barca's 3-0 win over Sevilla at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. "They're things which happen on the football pitch and I want to apologise.
"I did not want to offend anyone and if I did, then I am sorry. I know a lot people in Granada and I don't wish ill on anyone."
Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz accused Rakitic and Barcelona of showing a lack of respect earlier in the week following the incident and even predicted it would be labelled a "heat of the moment" comment.
He told a news conference on Tuesday: "Players in the big teams in Spain can do whatever they like. Of course this was a lack of respect to the club and they should have made it right.
"If a player from a big team does it, it's because it's in the heat of the moment, but if a player from a small team does it, it's because he's called shameless."
Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez also took the chance on Wednesday to apologise for Rakitic's actions.
"It's not something which I like," he is quoted by Marca as telling beIN SPORTS. "We apologise if Barca showed a lack of respect to anyone."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.