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Rakitic hails 'MSN' friendship after Ronaldo dig

Ivan Rakitic has hailed the friendship between Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar and believes they benefit from their excellent relationship on the pitch.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo took aim at Barcelona's attacking trident this week when he stated he doesn't need any "little hugs and kisses" to perform, but Rakitic does not share the Portugal international's opinion.

Messi, Suarez and Neymar - nicknamed MSN - netted an incredible 122 strikes in 2014-15, while they have been equally clinical in front of goal this term and the Croatia international has highlighted the importance of their friendship.

"Although they're different characters, there's pure harmony between them on the pitch," Rakitic told Jutarnji.

"It may sound like an exaggeration, but I tell you: Messi, Suarez and Neymar are the best of friends, and possibly the best friends in football history."

Rakitic also had words of praise for Luis Enrique and stressed Barcelona's coach deserves plaudits for the club's recent successes.

"Luis Enrique deserves a lot of credit," he added.

"He's analytical, he leaves nothing to chance. He never fails to explain to a player exactly what he expects from them. He has clear plans and he's able to get them across to the team. He talks to the players a lot."