Jose Mourinho hails Ivan Rakitic as "one of the most underrated players in the world" 1 year ago

Jose Mourinho hails Ivan Rakitic as "one of the most underrated players in the world"

"He's a fantastic player at every level."

Jose Mourinho has hailed Ivan Rakitic as "one of the most underrated players in the world."

Mourinho was a pundit on beIN Sports for coverage of El Clasico on Saturday evening. Barcelona beat their rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to open a 10-point lead at the top of La Liga.

Rakitic got the only goal of the game and earned high praise from the former Madrid and Manchester United manager.

"I have wanted to say this for a long, long time. For me, Rakitic is one of the most underrated players in the world," Mourinho said about the Croatian midfielder.

"He's a fantastic player at every level. He does defensive work to complement Messi and runs miles. In ball possession, he is fantastic, he is simple, he is effective.

"He is one of the most underrated players. So, I want to finish by saying that, because normally we speak about the big names.

"For me, Rakitic needs to improve his Instagram and social media because in this moment this is very important and he's not very good on that, but he's very good on the pitch!"

That last comment, about Instagram and social media, may or may not be a dig at Paul Pogba. You can watch Mourinho speak about Rakitic here:

The Portuguese coach also spoke about the performance of his former team.

Madrid lost 3-0 at home to Barcelona on Wednesday night in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final and fell to another defeat to their great rivals on Saturday night.

Mourinho labelled their display as "soft" and "passive."

"I think it was not a happy performance, not the performance of a happy team," he said.

"It was not the performances of a team with great belief or self-esteem. Cleary, they are now in a zone after a few bad results, especially the cup match, where they are in a low."

You can watch Jose speak about Real Madrid here:

Earlier in the show, he denied suggestions that he has been approached about returning to the Bernabeu.

Following his sacking as Man United manager in December, reports linked Mourinho with a return to the club he managed between 2010 and 2013.

The former Chelsea coach fell out with several players during his tenure but remains on good terms with Florentino Perez, the club president.

With Santiago Solari under pressure and the team sitting in third place, 12-points behind Barca, it would not be a surprise to see Mourinho return to Real Madrid in the summer.