Ivan Rakitic was speaking to Football Focus on the BBC /FCB

BBC World this week in their programme Football Focus featured an interview with FC Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

The Croatian was asked what this summer’s move meant to him in terms of his football career in general. “For sure I'll never forget the first steps at Basel and Schalke” he said. “And for sure the most important time for me was the two and a half years at Sevilla. And now to take this step to FC Barcelona is unbelievable. … It's different. I don't think people in Barcelona would ever be happy just to win the Europa League. And I want to win more titles and I know this is maybe the biggest club in the world and the players are of a different quality.”

When you hear the name Xavi... that's football!Rakitic has always been a huge admirer of Xavi Hernández. So how does it feel now to actually be playing in the same team as him? “When you hear the name Xavi... that's football” says the Croat. “For anyone that plays in his position, he's the biggest player. He's like an idol and it's really special to play alongside him. I want to do my best so that we can play a lot of games together, and win titles, which is the most important thing.”

We don’t just have to give Messi the Ballon d'Or, we have to give him everything in footballPlaying for Barça also means teaming up with Leo Messi, and Rakitic was understandably gushing with praise for the Argentinian. “It's different to see him play one game and to see him every day” he said. “In training and everything, it's crazy, you never know what he's going to do. In every action he's ready to score. He's maybe the best player in the history of football. Pele, Maradona… Messi is one for sure. We don’t just have to give him the Ballon d'Or, we have to give him everything we have in football. He's special.”

To conclude, Rakitic was asked about Barça’s chances in the league this season, with Real Madrid currently two points ahead of the Catalans and in strong form. “We can't think about Real Madrid, or Atlético or Sevilla, we just have to win our games” he answered. “There have been big changes to the team, but we are working well together and I hope by the end of the year, we'll be first.”

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