Ivan Rakitic is going to find Saturday’s game a little bit more special than usual. Barça are playing Sevilla, the side he joined in January 2011 and played for through to the summer of 2014. Before that, he was at Basel and Schalke 04, but this is the first time he has ever experienced a game against one of his former clubs.
The Croat will have plenty of old friends to greet before kick-off at the Camp Nou. That’s because he really made his mark in the Andalusian capital, scoring 32 goals in 149 matches and eventually being named captain by manager Unai Emery. The team progressed to the Europa League title last season, with the current Barça star named man of the match in the final against Benfica. Rakitic also married a girl from Seville and his daughter was born in the city.
As a Sevilla player, Rakitic appeared three times at the Camp Nou. In the first, in the 2011/12 season, an amazing display by Javi Varas gained the Andalusians a point from a 0-0 draw. In 2012/13, Barça won 2-1 and last season also took all three points from a 3-2 victory, with Rakitic scoring the first goal for the visitors.
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