Tag Archives: rakitic

‘Barcelona decisions are wierd but I went along with them’ – Rakitic

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Rakitic is officially a Sevilla player once again after his presentation on Thursday.

The Croatian midfielder spent six years at Barcelona – winning 13 trophies – after moving north from Andalusia in 2014.

“The time had come for me to leave Barcelona,” Rakitic told El Partidazo de COPE and Radio MARCA.

“I’m going back to Sevilla with excitement, and I’m looking forward to getting started and helping the team.

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“[Lionel] Messi and I were not best friends, but we always got along.

“He didn’t talk to me about his departure. I found out in the press.”

Rakitic was also asked if he felt Arturo Vidal had played more in his position because of his friendship with Messi.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“I was always available to play, and decisions were made that I didn’t understand.

“But I went along with them for the team.”

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Shocking: See Ivan Rakitic’s advice for Messi

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Ivan Rakitic has given Lionel Messi his advice as the Argentine star ponders whether to press ahead with plans to quit Barcelona.

Messi is considering his next move after talks between his dad Jorge and Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu reportedly ended in a stalemate on Wednesday.

According to reports from Argentina, the six-times Ballon d’Or winner is considering a dramatic U-turn after last week telling Barca he wanted to leave.

And he has been given some words of wisdom to ponder by Rakitic – who has left the Nou Camp, returning to his former club Sevilla on a four-year deal.

Rakitic’s move is expected to be the first of several big-name exits this summer as new Barca boss Ronald Koeman implements a major overhaul of the underachieving squad he has inherited.

And he has told his pal Messi that the Catalan Club remains “the best option for all players”.

“The first option and the best option for all players is always Barca,” the 32-year-old said. “Then, each player has to make their decision.

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“For me, the first option would always be to be at Barca.

“Every player has to do his own analysis and I believed it was my moment [to leave]. What Messi and other players are going to do, I don’t know – you’d have to ask them.”

Barcelona ended last season without winning a trophy, having suffered a decline in fortunes since Rakitic joined for the 2014/15 season, when they won the treble under Luis Enrique.

Their relative lack of success recently is believed to have contributed to Messi’s desire to quit the club.

Rakitic, who switched to Europa League winners Sevilla after dropping down the Barcelona pecking order, insists it is not the end of an era at the Nou Camp.

“I’ve not said anything about the end of a cycle, only that I always analyse everything and the situation has arrived to start thinking in another way,” he said.

“It’s not the end of an era. After six years, it wasn’t easy for me to leave. I’m really grateful for every detail.

“I don’t like to talk about the end of an era. I believe every player has to think about when the moment comes for them to leave, and that moment has come for me, nothing more.”

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Roughly a Legend: See Rakitic’s record at Barcelona

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Ivan Rakitic returns to Sevilla after six successful years away.

The Croatian has won 13 trophies at Barcelona following his 18 million euro move from the Andalusian club in 2014.

Now, only Lionel Messi, Dani Alves and Javier Mascherano have made more appearances than Rakitic’s 310 in Blaugrana as a foreign player.

In his first season at the Camp Nou, Rakitic became an important part of Luis Enrique’s treble winning team.

He managed to hold down a starting place in midfield, despite the presence of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, and scored in the Champions League final win over Juventus in Berlin.

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When Luis Enrique made way for Ernesto Valverde at the end of the 2016/17 campaign, Rakitic remained a key player in the squad.

However, in the summer of 2019, things started to turn as the Croatian international was put up for sale by Barcelona.

“I’m not a bargaining chip,” Rakitic said, annoyed by the continued reports of him being used as a makeweight in a deal to sign Neymar.

For the first time as a Barcelona player, the 32-year-old didn’t play 50 games in a season, making only 42 in the 2019/20 campaign, scoring once.

This summer, Ronald Koeman made it clear that he wasn’t in his plans going forward, so Rakitic was forced to seek a move away.

He had various offers but only wanted one thing – to return home to Sevilla, where he’d spent three-and-a-half enjoyable years earlier in his career.

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Happy New Month

Officially: Sevilla announces the signing of Ivan Rakitic

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Sevilla have announced the signing of Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona.

The Croatian returns to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan six years after making the move in the opposite direction.

During his first spell at the Andalusian club, the midfielder made 149 appearances, scoring 32 goals and making 41 assists, as well as captaining the side to the 2014 Europa League title.

Rakitic has made a significant financial sacrifice to re-join his former club – further proof that his love for all things Sevilla hasn’t diminished with time.

The 32-year-old’s wish was to return to Seville one day, where he met his wife Raquel Mauri.

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The move comes off the back of a difficult season at Barcelona, where his playing time took a considerable hit under both Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien.

Rakitic took issue with the lack of opportunities he was being given on the pitch, adding to his discontent at being put up for sale last summer.

This summer, though, he’s understood that the Catalan club wanted to move him on and has found the perfect exit route – back to Sevilla.

The arrival of the Croatian international is a huge boost for Julen Lopetegui, who has already brought in Oscar Rodriguez from Real Madrid this window.

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Happy new month

Farewell Barca: Ivan Rakitic returns to Sevilla

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When Ivan Rakitic left Sevilla for Barcelona in 2014, it hit both the club and the player hard.

The Croatian had spent three and a half years at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, making 149 appearances, scoring 32 goals and making 41 assists.

“I never though it was going to be this painful,” a teary Rakitic said upon his departure.

Sevilla were left with the tough job of replacing him, opting to sign Ever Banega on Unai Emery’s request.

“He found somewhere where the fans understood him and enjoyed his football – the Sanchez-Pizjuan,” Emery said of the Argentine.

In the summer of 2016, Banega left to join Inter but would return to Andalusia just one year later.


Happy homecoming
In the last two and a half years, Banega has been key part of Sevilla’s team, earning himself a spot in the Argentina squad for the 2018 World Cup in the process.

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This summer, after signing off with a Europa League win, the midfielder has left for a new adventure with Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia.

Sporting director Monchi once again finds himself in a position where he needs to reinforce his midfield and replace a club icon.

Coincidentally, it could be the man Banega replaced in 2014 that comes in to fill the space he’s left now – Rakitic.

Sevilla won’t find it easy to bring Rakitic back from the Camp Nou, though, even though they’ve already agreed personal terms with him.

However, there isn’t too much room for manoeuvre for Barcelona, who are aware that the Croatian’s contract expires next summer.

The former Sevilla player is eager to return.

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Rakitic ‘on final stage of joining Sevilla’

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Barcelona continue to work on their summer rebuild, despite the obvious elephant in the room, and Ivan Rakitic could be one of the first to leave with the Croatian a mere step away from re-joining Sevilla.

Negotiations between the Andalusian club and Barcelona have accelerated in the last hours, with Ronald Koeman making it clear to Rakitic that he wasn’t in his plans.

MARCA has learned that the player is undergoing the requisite medical tests in Barcelona, ahead of his imminent transfer.

Monchi completed his third signing of the window after Suso and Oscar Rodriguez both arrived on permanent deals, and Rakitic will take the place of the departing Ever Banega.

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Rakitic had always been clear that he didn’t want to leave Barcelona, although events of recent months have made that stance waver somewhat.

A departure from Spain itself, though, was always going to be impossible with his family settled and comfortable, so it looked like it would be a direct battle between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.

The latter never appeared though, and now Rakitic will go back to the place he considers to be home, where he enjoyed some of his finest footballing moments.

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Barcelona Offers Rakitic to PSG, See who he’s in swap with

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Ivan Rakitic was strongly linked with Paris Saint-Germain as part of the deal that would have seen Neymar join Barcelona last summer, but now it appears as though the Croatian is once again the subject of discussions between the two clubs.

This time Neymar’s name is off the table, as Barcelona look to cash in on the Croatian before his contract expires in the summer of 2021.

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This information comes from Foot Mercato, who also report that Rakitic would be in favour of a move to PSG.

Rakitic has also been linked with the likes of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, but what seems to be increasingly clear is that he will not be at the Camp Nou next season.

This season, Rakitic has played 36 games in all competitions, of which 18 have been as a starter.

Despite the uncertainty around his future, the 32-year-old has remained an important player for Ernesto Valverde and, subsequently, Quique Setien.

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Finally! Rakitic decides his Barca future ~Stay or Exit?~

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Ivan Rakitic has attempted to quash speculation over his future by insisting he will stay at Barcelona next season but admits that he has found a lack of regular playing time frustrating in 2019-20.

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Rakitic has no intention of moving on just yet though, as he told Croatian publication Tportal: “I spoke to the club ten or 15 days ago and the conclusion is that I have nothing to talk about because I have a contract until the summer of 2021 with Barcelona and it is the entity I want to be in and play with.

“Furthermore, my wife and my daughters are good in the city. There is no reason to think about other things. I am training well and I am sure that Ivan (Rakitic) will be in Barcelona longer.”

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The experienced playmaker says that although he has found in difficult being on the fringes of the action over the past year, he still has nothing but “respect” for head coach Quique Setien, who replaced Ernesto Valverde in the Camp Nou hot seat back in January.

“It is not nice when you do not play, especially when you do not understand why and they do not explain the reasons,” said Rakitic. “But I respect the coach’s decisions. I am in a team sport, not individual.”

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Barca’s latest La Liga defence will get back underway when they take on Mallorca on June 13, with all remaining fixtures set to be played behind closed doors following the coronavirus-enforced break in the season.

Setien’s men were two points clear of Real Madrid with 11 games remaining when play was stopped, and Rakitic is fully focused on adding yet more silverware to his impressive haul later in the year.

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He added: “The most important thing to me is the present moment, and that means we are starting the championship next weekend. We must be ready for that too.

“With the years I have, I think I have proven that football is most important to me. I simply want to be happy and enjoy. That means winning a lot more trophies with Barcelona.”


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Rakitic hints on emotional return to Sevilla


Ivan Rakitic has again hinted at an emotional return to Sevilla, in a documentary about his friend Jose Antonio Reyes to be aired in Spain on Wednesday evening.

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It’s an open secret that Sevilla would love their former player to return to the club when he leaves Barcelona but any deal this summer would seriously stretch their resources.

But in 2021 the 32-year-old will be out of contract and could go back to Andalusia on a free and Rakitic appears open to a return.

Asked in the Movistar film if he would consider wearing Reyes’ number 10 Sevilla shirt one day, by way of tribute to the Spanish winger who was killed in a car accident in 2019, Rakitic says: ‘If it were possible it would be something very special and I would be proud to be able to pay tribute to my great friend in this way.

‘It would be a nice way of showing that he is missed by wearing his number.’

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Rakitic, who has won four leagues and a Champions League at Barcelona as part of an impressive trophy haul since joining in 2014 is one the players Barcelona see as potentially generating them money in the transfer market.

Last season they did their best to sell although the player favours staying in Spain limiting the range of potential suitors.

It’s not the first time he has paid emotional homage to Reyes who wore the 10 shirt in his final seasons at the club.

~Ivan Rakitic

And it’s not the first time he has displayed huge affection for his previous club.

Speaking at an awards event in Seville last year he as asked about going back to his former club and he joked to reporters: ‘If it was up to my wife we would not go back [to Barcelona]. If the moment arises when we can talk [about a return] I would be delighted.

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‘I have always said that if there is one of my ex-clubs that I could go back to it would be Sevilla.

‘I hope it can happen one day but above all I am happy for where the club is at the moment and the results that they are having.

‘From afar it feels me with pride and joy when they are doing well. It would be a dream to wear the shirt again.’

~Ivan Rakitic

Rakitic was given a special award for services to football in that event organized by ‘El Desmarque’.

Reyes, a former team-mate of Rakitic at Sevilla, was also honoured at the event and Rakitic was in tears when he spoke during his acceptance speech about the Spain international.

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Ivan Rakitic Aims Barcelona Long Time Stay

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Ivan Rakitic insists he is “very happy” at Barcelona and hopes to still be at the club next season.

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The Croatia midfielder was one of a number of Barca players offered to Paris Saint-Germain last summer as part of a potential deal to bring Neymar back to the Nou Camp.

That deal did not materialise and Rakitic was left annoyed with Barca, reminding them he is “not a sack of potatoes you can do anything with”.

However, he is enjoying playing under Quique Setien, who took over as Barca head coach in January, and he would like to see out his current contract, which runs until June 2021.

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Asked about speculation regarding his future, Rakitic told Sky Germany: “I’ve got used to it a bit. I’ve been here six years now – so I’ve had six years of this sort of thing.

“I have to try to understand it, to remember that football is not just a sport. There is a bit more to it. We know that, we have to try to understand it – you have a laugh about it sometimes.

“The main thing is that I feel good and I am getting good feedback from the manager and the club.

“I’ve still got a contract, when I sign a contract I always intend to fulfil it, and if that cannot happen for any reason, then we’ll sit down together and talk about it.

“But for the moment, I am very happy here and I am thinking about other stuff.”

Spanish clubs returned to training this week ahead of a proposed June restart to the top two divisions.

Barcelona’s first-team players returned to the club’s training ground on Wednesday for medical testing and Rakitic admitted it was strange after so long in isolation.

“Today’s the first day I’ve been out in 60 days,” he said. “I’ve only been 30-40 metres from the house until now.

“We’ve been allowed for, I think, about a week, to go out walking with children for one hour per day, and that was it. So today was the first time I’ve been properly out of the house.

“And it was a funny feeling, a bit uncomfortable, driving with gloves on, with a mask on, pretty weird, the situation is a new one for us, and you do have, well maybe not fear, but you certainly have respect for the situation.

“In football you have to be ready for anything but as I’ve said I don’t want to look too far ahead.

~Ivan Rakitic

“I want to enjoy the moment and get ready to play whenever we are able to, or allowed to.

“We are still in the Champions League – we have the second leg of the last-16 tie against Napoli. In La Liga we are two points ahead of Real Madrid, and we have fair few games still to play.

“We want to try to enjoy that, hopefully enjoy that, and after that we’ll see.”


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Rakitic wants to fulfil his Barcelona contract

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Despite all the talk surrounding Ivan Rakitic’s future and possible transfers to either Atletico Madrid or Sevilla, the Croatian midfielder wants to fulfil his Barcelona contract, which is set to run until the end of the 2020/21 season.

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The club is desperate to sell him to bring in a significant financial return, but he hasn’t been keen on leaving the Camp Nou to this point.

Rakitic wants to be the master of his own destiny, and decide his own fate as a free agent.

Barcelona will only deal with clubs who offer a significant financial package for the former Schalke midfielder, yet he wants to be able to choose to sign for whomever he wishes in the summer of 2021.

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A potential swap with Juventus involving the Croatian and Federico Bernardeschi had been discussed, but Rakitic isn’t especially enthused about joining the Bianconeri.

PSG were linked in the summer of 2019 as part of the Blaugrana’s attempts to re-sign Neymar, although that was a fruitless endeavour.

~Ivan Rakitic

In recent days, Barcelona have reinitiated contact with both Juventus and Inter in the hope of finding a destination for Rakitic, with the club hoping his inclusion in a deal could significantly lower the price they would need to pay in order to sign Lautaro Martinez.

Rakitic is most attracted to Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, he is very comfortable in Spain, but neither club would be able to pay the high transfer fee that Los Cules would demand.

As such, the Croatian international is willing to play the waiting game in order to remain in LaLiga Santander.

~Ivan Rakitic

Furthermore, the changing fiscal landscape of football as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even less likely that the two aforementioned Spanish clubs will have the funds to purchase him in 2020, and he is acutely aware of this.

For Barcelona, the task now is to try and force the midfielder out of the club by making clear he will have very little chance of playing next season, they know that selling Rakitic will take a high earner off the wage bill and also bring in money that go directly into the club’s budget for reinforcements.


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Juventus Rejects move for Ivan Rakitic

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Barcelona have Ivan Rakitic on the market but according to Calciomercato, Italian side Juventus have told the Catalans they aren’t interested in the Croatian midfielder and he is not their first option in the instance of a potential player exchange deal between the clubs.

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Rakitic has played 40% of the minutes available this season and is no longer a key player at Barca. He got more minutes because of Arthur’s injury but neither Valverde nor Setien used him a lot.

Juve want Arthur Melo. However the Brazilian doesn’t want to move. Juve are, per La Gazzetta dello Sport, interested in using De Sciglio in a potential exchange.


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Tottenham Shows interest in barca’s rakitic

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Tottenham Hotspur are weighing up the prospect of a potential move for Ivan Rakitic this summer.

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The Barcelona star enters the final year of his contract at the Nou Camp in June and the Spanish side are keen to recoup a transfer fee for him to help ease their financial concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Spurs are gaining traction above sides including Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan in the chase to land the talented Croatian midfielder.

Rakitic is entering the autumn of his career at 32-years-old and harbours desires to feature in the Premier League which the Spanish daily reports will satisfy his economic and sporting appetite above all other possible exits.

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However, Rakitic has also not ruled out staying at the Nou Camp despite being open to a move away.

Another possible destination for Rakitic appeared to be Arsenal due to his agent Arturo Canales having close ties with Arsenal football director Raul Sanllehi.

However, the Gunners’ lack of Champions League football and subsequent cost cutting measures in light of the coronavirus mean that a move to Tottenham’s bitter rivals looks unlikely at this stage.

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Such a deal for Rakitic heading to White Hart Lane could depend on the future of Tanguy Ndombele in north London.

Tottenham’s record £54million buy from Lyon last summer has struggled to adapt to the fitness levels required in the Premier League and has attracted Barcelona interest over a summer move.

Barca are unlikely to offer Spurs a full cash deal given their current financial state, and the option to offer players such as Nelson Semedo or Samuel Umtiti has already been muted.


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Rakitic: I want to play football again, I’d even take the risk getting the virus

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Ivan Rakitic may not be clear on where he will play after the 2019/20 season, but he is clear that he wants football to return as quickly as possible.

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He is even willing to take the risks associated with the coronavirus in order to return to action.

In an interview with MARCA, he discussed that and much more.

How are you coping with everything that is happening?

“With a lot of attention and respect. It’s a new situation for everyone and I think it is a time to be more united than ever, to join forces to move forward and to emerge victorious from this situation. I’m sure we can do it.”

What have you missed most about leaving the house?

“My family, my friends, the people with whom I like to share my life. I have missed being able to take my girls to school, have breakfast in the town, be able to go to the training centre to train, go out to eat. I miss the simple things I did easily on a daily basis.”

Did you think you could live in this kind of situation?

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“Well the truth is no, I don’t think anybody could imagine something like this. I have a lot of respect for the situation and have done since the beginning. I remember a very important moment when we were going to play the first leg of the Champions League tie in Naples, when this situation started. I made that trip with a lot of uncertainty, now I think that what we have to do is think positively, knowing that the effort we’re making is for the good of everyone. What has surprised us this time will hopefully never do so again.”

What lessons have you learnt from everything that is happening?

“Many things, but the most important thing is that I appreciate the small details much more. The simplest moments and the importance of being very close to my family. The situation has been a great lesson for everyone in many ways.”

Have you been afraid?

“I don’t know if fear is the correct word, but I’ve felt a similar sensation. Uncertainty worries me a lot, I’m a very organised person who likes to control and analyse everything with my family and the people closest to me. Having my family spread between Seville, Croatia and Switzerland has been a concern. Thank goodness we’ve all been able to connect by video call and send many messages every day, but I admit that I have had nervous moments. Thank God my whole family is fine.”

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Football fans have suffered every week, and some have even died. What message do you have for them?

“I believe that there are many people who have struggled and suffered with this situation, in some way they are our heroes. Some have taken irreparable blows. I would like to convey my support, hugs and appreciation forever. We will never forget this, but we can’t stay with only negative information. We should always maintain the solidarity shown in this very difficult time. We must draw strength from anywhere to pull forward. The message I can give is of full support for those who’ve had to deal with such painful losses.”

Some countries don’t want football to return, what are your thoughts?

“I respect everyone’s opinion. In these recent days we have heard the French league, one of the biggest in the world, won’t be completed. We must respect that decision. Every country and every league has to analyse their own data and the needs of their situation with regards to how everything is and then decide what is best in each case. I don’t think that an equal decision can be made for everyone. What I’m sure of is that all countries and all leagues, when they make the decision, they will do so with the best interests of the citizens and the athletes. I support and respect the decisions that each country makes.”

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What place should football occupy when things return to normal?

“Football is very important to many people and the proof of this is that it moves a lot of money. Lately, I have heard many people talk about the problems there would be if we don’t play, economic problems, issues with European competitions, calendar issues, promotions and relegations… But I haven’t heard anyone talk about people, those people who, for them, their team is part of their life and they have suddenly had it taken away. I think it is time for those of us who are involved in football to take a step forward, and I’m not saying this for economic reasons. I recently read about the amount of millions that are moved in taxes and the jobs that professional football in Spain is responsible for, while helping grassroots football and other minority sports. I mean that socially we must take a step, to be able to entertain people with what they like and help people stop thinking all about viruses and disease. We must be able to joke with our neighbour who supports a rival team again, it’s important that we have as many reasons to hug as possible, when it’s permitted. I think we have to try to make football unite us, to give a feeling of unity that we need so badly. We have the possibility to support others and we must do so.”

Should footballers play?

“I want to play. It’s evident that we must try to return with the best health guarantees, but we must also know that they can never be 100 percent. The same risk will be there for all workers on their return to jobs. Supermarket workers also change in dressing rooms and have the same or an even higher chance of getting it than we do. They take that risk and I want to take it too. I think that we have a duty and I’m sure if we asked the fans then they would love for there to be football. We have to try to make people enjoy football again. We footballers can be an example, giving support to all the workers who have shown us strength. I want to join that force.”

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Are you willing to risk getting the coronavirus?

“Without a doubt, and I say this from the awareness that the risk will be very small, but also because of the solidarity with those who have been fighting for us from the first minute, and they have done so for many days.”

Do you think you’re indebted to society?

“I don’t know if we are in debt, but what is certain is that society has given us a status that is well above the average. I pay a lot of attention to the fans and the efforts they make to see us in stadiums and on pay-to-watch TV stations. They will meet us at the exit of the stadium, training ground or even at airports. In those moments, every time I see a child with my shirt on, I think how much effort their parents will have made to buy it for them. That effort is what I think we have to do now, prepare ourselves well, try to control the risks and return football to the people for the love that they give us.”

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What do you think about football returning without fans in the stands?

“It will be very hard and very unusual for us, but I would like to say to the fans that we will be more focused than ever. We will know they will be at home living it with the same passion as always and that we won’t disappoint them. Together we will draw the necessary strength to get out of this situation and we will surely be able to feel the support of fans in their homes.”

Will football be the same?

“Hopefully after this we will all be a little more human and realise the things that are really important. What we have to do is prepare ourselves well and try to play in the best possible way. It is clear that in this situation, even with empty stadiums at the beginning, it will be something different but I’m sure that very soon everything will return to normal and we will return to enjoying football as we always have. I’m sure that both fans and players will give everything to achieve that. We will not forget how to play football and the fans will not stop feeling that passion for the sport. Soon everything will be the same as it was before.”

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Would you prefer to win LaLiga or the Champions League this season?

“Hopefully both can be played again soon, I really want that to be the case. Everyone who knows me knows that my idea is to go for everything possible by preparing ourselves in the best possible way. We try to win every game, looking at everything that comes ahead. If we can win LaLiga, then winning the Champions League as well will make it even better. I want to fight and fight for everything.”

Has the situation regarding your future changed?

“No, my situation has not changed. I have already spoken about all this on several occasions. Now I really want to go back and fight for those titles that we are talking about, giving my best. I’m at the best moment of my career, my best age and this is a specific motivation for me. I’m convinced that I can do it, I have worked very hard this month and a half at home to be stronger than ever. I’m full of the belief that I will be able to return to work with my teammates.”

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The transfer market is something else that will have changed, do you have any regrets?

“No, I’m very calm, the maturity that I have gained through a career in football helps me understand everything better. I don’t regret anything. Everything I do I always do with my best will. I always try to do my best, for my team and for myself. It’s my way of being and it has gone well for me and I will never change. Now what I do is look forward to the future, I’m desperate to play again.”

What is your idea of what the future will be like?

“My main hope is to enjoy football and start playing again as soon as possible. When that happens and the season is done, then it will be time to analyse the situation. My future plan is to work hard, give my best, enjoy football and try to win everything.”


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Monchi: Sevilla Has No Plans To Get Ivan Rakitic.


Sevilla have not been in touch with Barcelona over a possible transfer deal for Ivan Rakitic, according to director of football Monchi, who says the market is too “risky” amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Rakitic emerged as one of the top midfielders in Spanish football during his three-and-a-half-year stay at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, attracting attention from a number of top European clubs in the process.

The Croatia international ended up signing for Barca in the summer of 2014 and has since helped the club win 13 major trophies, including four Liga titles and the Champions League.

He has, however, fallen down the squad pecking order after Frenkie de Jong’s arrival at Camp Nou from Ajax ahead of the 2019-20 season, and has been restricted to just 10 league starts in the last eight months.

It has been suggested that Barca will try to cash in Rakitic before his current contract expires in 2021 amid reported interest from Manchester United, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.

A potential return to Sevilla has also been mooted, with the 32-year-old admitting earlier this month that it would be a “dream” for him to wear the famous white shirt again.

However, Monchi says such a move is “unrealistic” at the moment, given the precarious nature of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen football temporarily shut down across all major European leagues.

Sevilla’s sporting director told Eldesmarque: “It is not known what will happen to soccer, therefore we are not going to spend money when we do not know what income we will have. We will not do it yet, neither in purchases nor in renewals.

“There is no negotiation with Barcelona for Rakitic. I have read Ivan’s wish to return to Sevilla one day. And I thank him for his words and his interest in returning, but right now talking about the market is risky. You can’t say we’re interested in anyone because it’s unrealistic.

“Sevilla is not making movements for anyone. We have not made movements because we do not know how the pandemic will end. Talking about paying a transfer fee today does not go with the path we are on. I would gain adulation [from the fans] if I say that we are working on bringing in players, but it is not the case.”


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Setien plays down Rakitic rumours: I have no information that he wants to leave.


Quique Setien insisted Ivan Rakitic had not asked to leave Barcelona, while he said it was too soon to discuss Philippe Coutinho’s future.

Out of contract in 2021, Rakitic recently criticised the La Liga club’s treatment of him as the Croatia midfielder seemingly nears an exit.


Barcelona head coach Setien was unaware of the 32-year-old’s desire to leave and said he had been pleased with Rakitic’s performances this season.

“I have no information that Rakitic wants to leave the club and he has no transmitted that to me. And with me he has played a lot and can continue doing it,” he told El Larguero on Thursday.


“I am happy with his performance and have nothing to say. We have to wait to see what happens and if he wants to leave or not. And if I have to say it, the time will come.”

Rakitic recently declared that his future may lie away from Camp Nou as he asked not to be treated like “a sack of potatoes”.

“I am not a sack of potatoes,” Rakitic told Mundo Deportivo. “I will decide my future. I want to be where I am valued. If it is here, delighted, and if not, it will be where I decide.”


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I Will Not Wash My Jersey Again – Martin Joke After Hugging Messi


Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite says he isn’t going to wash his clothes after getting a hug from club captain Lionel Messi on his debut.

The Denmark international came off the bench as Barcelona picked up a 5-0 win over Eibar, where Messi scored the opening four goals and Arthur rounding off their win with a strike in the last minute of the match.


Braithwaite was heavily involved in Barcelona’s last two goals and he joked after the game that he isn’t going to put his kit in the wash after getting a hug from Messi.

Lionel Messi,Martin Braithwaite
“I won’t wash my clothes after I hugged Messi,” Braithwaite said, quoted by Sport. “I’m very happy to have given my first assist to Leo.”

Braithwaite could have got on the scoresheet himself in the last minute of the match, but Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović was able to get down to make a save – not that it mattered, as Arthur followed up to score from the rebound.

“I feel bad for not having scored but Dmitrović did very well,” Braithwaite added. “It was an extraordinary debut, a dream come true. When the coach called me to warm up I was a bit nervous but looking forward to getting on. Thanks to the fans for this reception.”


Coupled with Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Levante on Saturday, Barcelona’s win has seen them move one point clear at the top of La Liga.

Both clubs have Champions League duties to attend to in midweek, but Barcelona and Real Madrid will already have one eye on next week’s Clásico.

Barcelona were held to a goalless draw when they hosted the Clásico earlier this season.

While Quique Setién’s side are on red hot form, Real Madrid haven’t won either of their last two games and will also be without Eden Hazard next week after he suffered a hairline fracture in his leg against Levante.


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Ivan Rakitic Unhappy At Barcelona


Ivan Rakitic Unhappy With Barcelona’s Treatment of Him in the January Transfer window…


Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted that he didn’t like the club’s handling of his situation in the January transfer window, with a number of sides rumoured to have been seeking his signature.

Rakitic has found himself on the fringes of first-team action this season, with summer arrival Frenkie de Jong seemingly ahead of the 31-year-old in the midfield pecking order.


Ivan Rakitic

With first-team action at a premium, it seemed his future was away from Camp Nou, but despite interest from Manchester United and Juventus, Rakitic failed to secure a move away last month.

Sunday’s 2-1 win over Levante saw Rakitic make just his eighth start in La Liga for the Catalan giants this season, and the midfielder has voiced his concerns regarding the club’s handling of his situation.


“There have been several things that I did not like,” he said, as quoted by Goal. “I say it very clearly. We know there are people who make decisions but here we are not to laugh or enjoy.

“In the end the best thing for the club has to be what is good. We must accept not to understand some things.”

Ivan Rakitic

Despite his unhappiness, Rakitic insisted he did not wish to linger on any issues he may have with the Barcelona hierarchy, and was quick to express his gratitude at being selected for the victory over Levante.


“It’s not time to talk about [my unhappiness],” he added. “I’m happy to have played today and everyone knows it, you don’t have to open things again.

“Everything has already happened and I have to turn the page and not think too much about it.


Ivan Rakitic
“You have to work in the best way possible because the decisive part of the season is coming. I want my colleagues, technicians and fans to count on me.”

Rakitic’s contract with Barcelona runs until June 2021, but it seems unlikely at this rate that he will be at the club beyond this summer.


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Ivan Rakitic unveils his future at Barcelona and euro 2020 as his last for Croatia


…His Final Bow for croatia.


Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has said he is not considering leaving Barcelona at present, while admitting that Euro 2020 could be his final tournament with Croatia.

The midfielder started the season in the cold at club level, limited largely to substitute appearances domestically, but he has slowly re-established himself into the side and become an important player in recent weeks.


Isco Alarcon,Ivan Rakitic
Speculation persists surrounding a January exit, with Barcelona thought to be keen to offload the 31-year-old, but in an interview with Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, Rakitic would not be drawn into that conversation.

“There’s nothing to say. I think everything is clear,” he said, when asked about his Barcelona future and his recent re-instalment into the team. “It is important to me that I enjoy football, that I am happy to go to training in the morning, to prepare myself for the game in the best possible way.


“In the end, it is the coach who decides who will play and how much.”

He was pressed for comment on whether he is being forced out of the club by manager Ernesto Valverde and director of football Eric Abidal, but again would not be drawn in. His contract is up in 2021 but for now, at least, he remains focused on performing in Catalonia.

“I have nothing to say about who said what he did and did; the most important question is whether they can play in Barcelona. If I can, it’s clear to me that Barcelona is the best place for me.

Ivan Rakitic,Mikel Merino
“We will see how it will be, but I am preparing for my contribution as much as possible in the next period. I have been here for five and a half years, having lived my most significant days in Barcelona, and I am convinced that the best, in fact, in front of me.”


More telling were his quotes on his Croatia future. Rakitic has starred in a golden era for the Croatian national side, helping them to a World Cup final in 2018, but he admits that Euro 2020 – where he will take on England, the Czech Republic and one of the playoff winners – could be his final bow.

“Yes, it is possible,” he said, when asked if his final international appearance could come in the summer. “Let’s be real, that’s quite clear. We will see what and how, first of all, what ideas the menu will have. I haven’t talked to [Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic] in a while, he didn’t even call or visit me.


Botond Barath,Ivan Rakitic
“We will consider what is best, not only for me, but for the whole national team. I said I would give everything I needed for young players.

“The most important is the well-being of Croatia, we will solve the rest. Slowly. It doesn’t matter what I want, but what is best for all of us.”


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