Rakitic apologises for taunting Manchester United youngster

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Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic has apologised to Granada midfielder Andreas Pereira, who is on loan from Manchester United, having been caught up in a controversy after Sunday's match between the two sides.

Following a challenge between the two players Rakitic was caught by television cameras swearing at Pereira and taunting him for Granada's likely relegation from LaLiga.

Barca won Sunday's clash 4-1 at Los Carmenes, Rakitic scoring his team's third goal to leave 10-man Granada second from bottom in the table.

Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz had criticised Barcelona after the game, condemning Rakitic for failing to apologise.

But Rakitic did take the chance to say sorry after playing in his side's 3-0 victory over Sevilla on Wednesday.

"These things can happen out on the pitch, and I would like to apologise," Rakitic was quoted by AS.

"I didn't intend to offend anyone, and I'm sorry if I did.

"I know a lot of people in Granada and I don't wish any misfortune on anyone."

Alcaraz had claimed a player from his team would have got a harder time than Rakitic did had they committed the same offence.

The Granada head coach said: "The players at the big clubs in Spain are able to do as they please.

"They've shown disrespect to this club, and they should have put it right.

"If a player from a big club does it, it's put down to the heat of the moment; if a player from a smaller club does it, he's branded a disgrace."

Pereira, 21, has played in 28 of Granada's 30 league matches this season, scoring four times.