Rakitic: Barca not yet ready for new season

The Croatia midfielder is confident of a win against his former side - although he concedes the Catalans are not yet in peak condition.

Ivan Rakitic is hoping Barcelona can open their season with another title triumph against Sevilla but admits the team are not yet "100 per cent ready".

Barca take on Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup in Tbilisi on Tuesday in the traditional curtain-raiser to the European season.

Luis Enrique's men have struggled in pre-season, losing three of four International Champions Cup matches before seeing off Roma in the Gamper Trophy in midweek, but Rakitic remains optimistic the Champions League winners will see off his former club.

"I'm very excited," he said at a press conference on Saturday. "There's nothing nicer than starting a season with a title.

"I am a huge Sevilla fan but not in this game, I give all I have to Barca. And we want to continue making history on the way to winning all six titles.

"Maybe we are not 100 per cent ready, but we can win the first title and there are no excuses."

Lionel Messi will again be the key man for the Catalans this season and Rakitic acknowledges he is playing alongside greatness.

"Messi? He's the best football player in history. Leo and Neymar are very important for us, but also the other players," he added.