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Ivan Rakitic qualifies for World Cup with Croatia
FC Barcelona midfielder plays entire 90 minutes of goalless playoff second leg against Greece
Ivan Rakitic is the latest FC Barcelona player to book his ticket for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, after Croatia bested Greece in their playoff. The second leg of the tie, held at the Georgios Karaiskáki stadium (where Rakitic played for Barça against Olympiacos in the Champions League earlier this season) ended goalless, but a 4-1 home win in Zagreb from the first encounter was enough to qualify Croatia for next summer's tournament in Russia.
The Barcelona midfielder played the entire 90 minutes in Greece, and was a vital part of the side during their qualification campaign. He took part in a total of eight games, including the playoff, and scored a goal against Turkey.
Rakitic joins a long list of FC Barcelona players whose countries have qualified for the 2018 World Cup. Only Jesper Cillessen (Holland) and Arda Turan (Turkey) have seen their national teams fail to go through, and as many as 22 players from the squad could feature in the competition if selected.