Rakitic spoke to the press after the game. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Ivan Rakitic made his official Barça debut on Sunday night, and said afterwards that “it’s so much easier playing alongside the best players in the world, but this was just the first step. I have a lot still to do. Luis Enrique has worked out all of the details but there is a lot that needs to be improved.” But he couldn’t help adding that “it is a joy for all of us to be able to play alongside Messi.”

I want to play my football” added the Coat in response to a question about the competition for places in midfield. "But I won’t  get anything for free. I have to work hard.” He knew that the Elche game would be difficult, as all season openers tend to be, but  “we trusted in our football and strength, so we were able to control the game with just ten men”.

On Munir El Haddadi, who marked his official debut with a goal, Rakitic commented that “we could tell from the very first day that Munir is a very talented player. I’m sure he’ll help us a lot”.

Statements from other team members

Dani Alves

“The team has taken on board what Luis Enrique wants and that’s important for our progress. If we put it all into practice, the wins will come. Things are in our grasp, so we’re all happy”

“We have to look after Munir because he’s got a great future ahead of him. He’s humble, but hard work is getting him what he deserves. It’s a pleasure to have him in the team”

Marc Bartra

“The whole team played well and we’re going home with a good feeling about this”

“I was happy with my preseason games. It’s very important for me to get to play”

“We have worked very hard, all of us, and Luis Enrique doesn’t have favourites. Any of us can play and deliver. We have to show him how much we want to play”.

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