Ivan Rakitic during Thursday's press conference / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Ivan Rakitic spoke to the press after training on Thursday morning and stressed that Saturday’s game against Eibar is as important for the team right now as the match against Real Madrid the following week.

The Eibar game

We respect Eibar and we will prepare it as well as we can.. We know it will be a tough game, they are a good team and played well against us at the Camp Nou, so we know what to expect”

"We’ll come out to play as we always do – we want to put in a complete game as we know that Ipurua is a hard place to win at”.

"There are three points in play on Saturday, just like there are when we face Madrid. We want to win all the games – against Eibar, Manchester City and Madrid”.

"Alves and Alba are two very important players, but we have a big squad”.

Playing as a defensive midfielder

"It wouldn’t be anything new for me to play in that role, I played there for my country last season. It’s a different position and it demands different skills, but I know the position well”.

"If I have to play there, perfect. I always want to play and it doesn’t matter where, the important thing is to win”

"As the pivot you have cover the defenders who come out with the ball, help them if there isn’t an easy way out and watch the backs of the teammates you have in front of you”.

"You have to help the team in whatever position you play. The important thing is to be out on the pitch – I want to play every game! I’m ready, I’m still young and full of energy”

Team’s good run

"It’s a long season and there are plenty of twists and turns. The hardest part is coming up now, but it’s also the most exciting part! We have to stay focussed and not make any mistakes”

"We are at the best Club in the world. It’s positive pressure on us and we always go out to win”.

"We have to carry on in this run because there are still things we need to improve. All of the players are here to give our best in every game”.

The front three

"They are the three best players in the world. It’s a real pleasure to have them as teammates out on the pitch. Everyone at Barca is happy to have these three great forwards.

Rakitic calls on team to maintain focus per fcbarcelona
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