Explaining the random crossover between Darwin Nunez and Ivan Rakitic

It has been a campaign to remember for Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez this season in Europe. While he finished as the top scorer for Benfica in the Portuguese league with a personal best of 26 goals, Nunez was also clinical for his side in the Champion’s league with 6 goals on the back of which Benfica went all the way to the Quarter-Finals.

Undoubtedly, this impressive run had suitors lined up for the Uruguayan from amongst the top clubs in Europe and he penned a bumper deal with Liverpool following a 100m transfer. As Nunez has shown the potential to be the next great striker to come from the South American nation following the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, he is being touted as a rival to Man City’s Erling Haaland for the PL Golden Boot race for the coming years,

Following his big-money move and presentation in Anfield, it looks like Nunez has returned to Dubai to enjoy the rest of his holidays before reporting for duty under Jurgen Klopp. But in Dubai, the Liverpool man seems to have found an unexpected company to tag along with as he was spotted with Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Images of both players alongside their respective partners chilling on a boat together has surprised many football fans given the lack of commonalities between the two players. In the photos of the two players, Nunez is seen rocking a classy plain white outfit similar to his wardrobe choice for his Liverpool presentation while Rakitic cast a laid-back figure with his teal polo shirt.

https://twitter.com/DaveOCKOP/status/1542208925264666624?s=20&t=P6VPQv7mgdtgmrWaQYBkMw

Fans were left wondering how this unlikely combination occurred and it looks like a possible explanation lies with Nunez’s partner, Lorena Mañas. The Spaniard has been with Nunez for the past couple of years (from his days with Spanish side Almeria) but before meeting the Uruguayan, Mañas was married to former Barcelona player Aleix Vidal.

Vidal was at the Catalan club between 2015-2018 which coincides with Rakitic’s career with the Spanish side. It is believed that Mañas befriended Rakitic’s partner, Raquel Mauri during this time and have been good friends since then, as evident from this meet-up in Dubai.

Given the longstanding friendship shared by Mañas and Mauri, this meet-up in Dubai now makes sense for Nunez and Rakitic. With pre-season set to commence in the coming weeks, both Nunez and Rakitic will be looking forward to these last few days of their relaxing times before reporting for their respective clubs.