FC Barcelona are in London ahead of the Champions League first leg of the round of 16 against Chelsea. Ernesto Valverde’s men travelled on Monday to the UK with 21 players called up for the European match.

One of the protagonists of the build-up is Ivan Rakitic and he spoke to the assembled media about the dangers Chelsea pose: “It will be very tough and we will have to play the best we can to win, we need to be perfect. They are a strong team and getting through their midfield will not be easy. They are organised and they will make life hard for us.”

For this reason, the Croatian only wants to think about the first leg as it could be key: “We need to start the game as well as we can, with the idea of scoring and winning. As the game goes by we will see how we need to play it. What is clear is that we want to impose our style of play and control what happens on the pitch without thinking about the return leg in Barcelona.”

Despite the difficulties, Rakitic assured the media the team are very motivated: “We are ready. La Liga and the Copa are important but the motivation for the Champions League is special, it is different. We want to continue playing well and show the world what we can do. Our motivation is tremendous. We want to enjoy it”, he concluded.

Back to top