Ivan Rakitić had goosebumps on the day of his presentation as a new player of FC Barcelona because, as he claimed in ‘The Players' Tribune,’ he had fulfilled the dream of any child; "to play for Barça." The No.4 has enjoyed his time in Blaugrana stating that "if you don’t like Barça football, you don’t like football."
The Croatian midfielder grew up in Switzerland, where his parents had emigrated before the Bosnian war began, and he began to play professionally in Basel with an idea: "I wanted to be Robert Prosinečki." His path had begun and his passage through the ranks of Schalke 04 would eventually lead him to Spanish football.
It was 2011 when Rakitić, who did not speak the language and was 21 years old, signed with Sevilla. That same night, in the bar of the hotel where he would stay for the first months as a player of the Andalusian club, he would meet his future wife. "When I met my wife, I felt that I had a real reason to play, and my career went up to another level," he added. Later he would be named the first foreign captain of the club since Maradona, "an honour," he said.
Thanks to his consistently high performances, he had the opportunity "to join the biggest club in the world," FC Barcelona. "I was happy, and I knew my life would change completely," he noted. Clearly, he made the right decision because he added that; "it is still a pleasure to play football every day."
He also praised Leo Messi: "I have the blessing of playing with the best strikers in the world. It's a pleasure for me, just as a football fan, to have the opportunity to play with Messi every day."