The midfielder admitted that replacing Xavi "is impossible"
Rakitic will live this Saturday his second Clásico at Bernabéu stadium. Just some days before the match, he conceded an interview at the English newspaper The Telegraph where, apart from talking about this match, he talked about FC Barcelona's style and about the fact of replacing Xavi. He also remembered some anecdotes of his beginnings.
Here you have his best statements:
"It is the game that for 90 minutes the whole world takes a seat and watches."
"It’s what you want as a player, so enjoy it. And work it. And win it. It is not the same as playing against other teams, because there are so many special players who are just waiting for one bad pass or something. So you have to be ready in every single moment, every single second."
"Normally you can put your hands over your eyes and know where the other players are. This is the most important thing."
"One touch, one touch. It’s like a machine. A machine that is repeating again and again. It’s Barcelona."
"When you get the ball, you do not have time to think. You have to do it. You sense it. It’s trained but it’s trained inside you. It makes you faster in the moment.”
"Here, inside the club, of course, we are happy with a 1-0 win but the fans, people, want more and we are working to give them something special. For this Barcelona is different from every other big club."
Being midfielder in FC Barcelona
"To replace Xavi is impossible. I want to give what I can give. I want to be Ivan Rakitic. Not Xavi or Iniesta. They have other qualities. I want to give what I can do."
"Xavi is the symbol of the club. He has been for 20 years. Not only for what he did on the pitch, where he was unbelievable, but for the dressing room, how he spoke and what he means to the club. He was our leader. He was the man. And now he is not here. So, of course, it has changed."
"First of all to arrive in the first-team in Switzerland because I had, at 16 years of age, a big offer to go to Chelsea. And another offer from Juventus and I decided to stay at home with my family. Then I first had to get into the Super League in Switzerland and after that the next step."
"It was important for me to say ‘the money is there but the money will come with time, also’. There was another player like me and he went and today he is playing in the fourth division in Switzerland."
La Liga vs Premier League
"I like La Liga, but you cannot say that here in Spain everything is better than in England."
"In England everyone is really physically strong. They can play three games and then they are ready to play the fourth. If you are a Spanish team and you give away a corner against an English team then you have to be ready. They are all maybe 1.85m, 1.90m (tall) and maybe 90 kilos."