Ivan Rakitic: Barcelona’s humble yet ambitious midfield leader

Ivan Rakitic A humble yet ambitious leader for Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic was instrumental to Barcelona’s success in his first season at the Camp Nou. If the Catalans were able to win their record second treble of Champions League, Liga and Copa del Rey, the Croatian international certainly played a decisive role he should be very proud of.

Under the watchful eye of Luis Enrique, Rakitic became a regular starter alongside the very talented Andres Iniesta and the ever-improving Sergio Busquets. His importance was clear all season, but scoring the opener in the Champions League final definitely cemented his place in Barcelona history.
Now on his second season at the Camp Nou, it is expected that the former Sevilla captain continues his progression, helping Barcelona reach even higher goals in the near future.
Here are Rakitic’s views regarding the season ahead:

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“The idea of the sextuple fills me with awe because only a few of my teammates have won one. It had never been done before then. We don’t feel under pressure, but we know it’s going to be very difficult.

“The UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla? It’s a trophy up for grabs, I know where I am and I’m going to fight the utmost for Barcelona. I would have liked Sevilla to win it if we weren’t in it, though.”

Ivan Rakitic A humble yet ambitious leader for Barcelona

“Life is easier when you have Lionel Messi. Every team would love to have Leo, but luckily we’ve got him and we’re going to look after him. He does things that no one else can. And, if we can make him even better, then that’s great.”

“I enjoy having Messi, Su├írez and Neymar ahead of me. Although a lot of people say that it’s easy to play with them and that’s rubbish. They are on another level and we play for them because they have earned it, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You have to get used to doing work on their behalf, and if I have to run 5,000 kilometres so that one of them can have his moment, that’s fine by me.”

Now, it’s your turn

What makes Rakitic a regular starter despite competition from Iniesta, Turan, Rafinha, Vidal or Sergi Roberto? Did you expect Rakitic to perform at such a high level when he signed from Sevilla?