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Rakitić Drowning In Barcelona: He Deserved Better

December 5, 2019

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In what could be Ivan Rakitić’s last full month in Barcelona – because he is 100% leaving by the summer – I’d like to take this time to reflect on one of the most overshadowed and underrated European football players of the past year and a half.

 

 

Sure, we (Croatians) know who Rakitić is and exactly what he can do on the pitch. But even Raketa was overshadowed at the 2018 World Cup with ‘out of this world’ performances by teammates Luka Modrić and Danijel Subašić.

 

 

Rakitić has unfortunately drawn the short end of the ‘popular’ stick over the past 18 months with both club and country. Let me explain:

 

 

Let’s rewind to the 2018 World Cup. Rakitić played perfect football in the Croatian midfield alongside Golden Ball winner Luka Modrić; and Ivan Perišić and Mario Mandžukić, who both scored three goals at the tournament. Rakitić only had one goal to his name – a junk insurance goal against Argentina to make it 3-0 in group play. But Ivan Rakitić could easily be documented as delivering two of Croatia’s most important goals of the World Cup- penalty kick winners against Denmark and Russia.

 

 

Although Rakitić had ice in his veins during both spot kicks to get Croatia to the next round, goalie Danijel Subašić received most of the praise for his stops in the shootout. Subašić is only the second goalie in World Cup history to win two separate penalty kick shoot-outs in the same tournament. Rakitić should easily be a Croatian national hero – just from his World Cup penalty kicks. Unfortunately, he was overshadowed by both Modrić and Subašić when it was all said and done.

 

 

Moving to the club side of things, Rakitić has played second fiddle behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, and Sergio Busquets at Barcelona for years. He is fantastic when he does well but a scapegoat for the Catalan club when they underperform. Rakitić has supported Barcelona’s midfield core since coming over from Sevilla in 2014 and has won four La Liga titles alongside a 2015 Champions League trophy, where he opened the scoring in the Final.

 

 

It’s safe to say that Ivan Rakitić’s time in Barcelona is over. At 31 years old, Rakitić was nearly transferred to PSG in the summer but the move never materialized. Now behind Sergio Busquets and new Dutch signing Frankie de Jong, Rakitić is playing limited minutes off the bench for Barcelona.

 

 

In October, Marca reported that Rakitić would leave Barcelona for Manchester United or Juventus; maybe even AC Milan. However, Daily Mail  reports suggested that Rakitić’s family would nix any move to the UK.

 

 

Now, new reports via AS.com are saying that Rakitić could return to former Spanish club Sevilla, where he played from 2011-14; captaining the club for two seasons. Sevilla is also the city where he met his wife. Atletico Madrid are also in the hunt for the services of Ivan Rakitić, which shows the value he still possesses in Europe.

 

 

Approaching the twilight of his career, Rakitić should be given much more credit than he has ever received – both at club and country. Yes, he was overshadowed by some of the greatest football ever played, but he came out of the shadows and showed his true worth when the pressure arrived.

 

 

Imagine if Rakitić misses the penalty against Denmark or Russia. What series of events would transpire next? Would Croatia have ever made it to the semifinal match against England?

 

 

What if Rakitić did not score the opening goal against Juventus in the 2015 Champions League Final? That game was wide open from start to finish and could have easily gone Juventus’ way in an era where rivals Real Madrid nearly won ever CL trophy.

 

 

Whatever happens to Ivan Rakitić in the next few months will be a business decision in the end. After all, football is a business. And although he will be slowly pushed out the door at Barcelona – at the end of the day – no matter how his exit goes and no matter what club Raketa plays at next- Rakitić will have deserved better.

 

 

Ivan Rakitić Deserves Better.
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 41 comments





  1. Jokich says:

    Perhaps you should have thrown Mario the mandz into the article as well as he’s getting the shaft with no lube after being a good soldier for juve
    I hope they both have a few good years left in top flight football and show these pricks up…sarri is as likable as he is handsome



  2. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Nice to see this type of article for a World Class player.

    I remember watching Rakitic when he first came to our National Team, thinking he has incredible abilities for a guy with a weird physical stature. He runs weird, looks like he runs on his heels and his reactions seem a bit slow and awkward. He can get the ball tied up in his feet at times…he had some challenges finding his confidence and form…so I was a bit unsure of how he would turn out.

    WELL…all that changed as he became a regular at Schalke and then his short stint at Sevilla…and finally his first years at Barca while he was putting in performances for our National Team, playing a style I felt was something we hadn’t really seen…N Kranjcar was probably a knock off version of him.

    Rakitic surprised me over the years. For a guy I felt was kinda off-balance and a bit clumsy, he has incredibly good skills at a fast speed (sprint) and his one touch game is absolutely spectacular and fascinating. He could play his way out of very tight areas with some good quick and simple looking passes that are very hard to execute. He has always been strong defensively and his vision is exceptional. Rakitic’s best quality is his SUPERB long ball. The guy can switch the ball better than anyone I’ve seen…maybe ever!

    I’ve never felt Rakitic was second fiddle to anyone on our National Team, not even Modric. They play differently and each have their won style that compliments each other…Rakitic is as good with Modric beside him and he’s just as good without him.

    When clubs make decisions to replace or sit certain players it has more to do with their vision going forward and their coaching staff’s plan of how they want to play. We’ve seen this soo many times and its based on their preference or playing styles and how they view certain players. One coach might like and see one thing while a different coach see’s things totally different. It doesn’t mean Rakitic’s performances have slipped, it means the club is going in a different direction.



  3. Socccer Shit Idiots says:

    boring pointless soccer shit moron babbling here, everyone commenting here should go kill themselves chasing a soccer ball off a building or bridge, that’s how pointless.



  4. Rafael says:

    Both Raketa and Mario M needed a reality check this past summer.They were told they weren’t in their respective clubs plans.

    Find new clubs boys.

    They get paid millions to sit on the bench. Of course they want to play but big clubs always are a revolving door. They need to have a coffee with Dario Simic. He can offer them advice on how to sit on the bench at a big club and be happy. Relax and enjoy yourselves Raketa + Mandzukic.



  5. Maminjo says:

    This is better for us.

    It establishes Vlašić as a starter, who would play better against Serbia (if they qualify).

    Rakitić is too soft on that front, especially in a game that will be associated with a lot of off the field stuff. You know that guys like Lovren, Vida, Modrić, Petković and even Barišić would step up and play out of their minds for a game like that.

    Raketa is great for some games, but not that one.



  6. Aussie Croat says:

    Great post.

    Also, there needs to be some type of forum set up here where you need to sign in and where mods can boot cunts off at a whim. I’m sick of these non-Cros coming here and hijacking conversations with mindless blabber and anti-Croat dribble.

    Set it up Ante!



  7. Soul Champ says:

    Love this article Ante!

    Ivan Rakitic = World Class!

    The issue is he has sacrificed his balls at Barca.

    Man he was field Marshall as Sevilla’s captain.

    Played the 6, 8 and 10!

    Jebi ga .. he had a great run at Barca.

    You are not Messi or Cruyff and not Catalan.

    Keep it moving.

    You could win the World Cup with all the disrespected non Catalan Barca players over the years.

    Busquets < Rakitic every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Rakitic is in great shape to play another 3-4 years at top level.

    Please go some place that needs your midfield presence.

    Also Ivan can bang in many more goals if given the opportunity.

    Family should keep their geographical preferences confidential. It effects negotiations.

    I do hope Ivan can claim his ZDS birth right and put this Barca BS behind him.

    The fact that his game is not based on speed shows that he will age well on the pitch.

    @ Svima

    When is the last time Kovačić played bad?

    Brozovic is Omni present for Inter.

    Vlašić is a revelation.

    Modrić is evergreen.

    Rakitic better get that playing time in January.

    You need to be fresh and in form to be in the mix against England.



  8. Maminjo says:

    It would be great if Rakitić went back to Sevilla…but Barcelona likely would not let him. Plus, Sevilla couldn’t pay any large transfer fee for him, and probably not even his current salary either.

    Serie A should be his next stop (even though it is a nauseatingly boring league).
    It might extend his career due to the low demand on its players.



  9. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    Thanks boys. Appreciate it.

    It’ll be a goal of mine to write more pieces like this. And as always, the floor is always open to any of you who would like to do the same.

    @Aussie,

    I can’t implement a login system on the website now. It could happen on the new website in the future. Also, most posters don’t want to have to login. I’ll just do my best cleaning up the trash.



  10. Jamon Iberico says:

    Busquets is an old bum with no skills. Why does he get to play instead of Rakitic?

    If Rakitic was Spanish he would be starting every game at Barcelona.



  11. Dannyj says:

    You can also count vrsaljko to play balls out against Serbia

    All we can do is hope we stay healthy and get above average keeping and we all know we can challenge again

    I’d be down for login anytime ante
    I’m sure most of us would



  12. Crnkovic says:

    On log in. I say don’t do it. Let people pass through. Good to know where everyone is at. It’s reality. We can handle it. We know who is bullshittingand who is for real. Freedom of speech

    On rakitic. He has such amazing technical quality, and I appreciate his career, but I’ve always been disappointed by his propensity to sit back and play safe.



  13. Crnkovic says:

    On log in. I say don’t do it. Let people pass through. Good to know where everyone is at. It’s reality. We can handle it. We know who is bullshittingand who is for real. Freedom of speech

    On rakitic. He has such amazing technical quality, and I appreciate his career, but I’ve always been disappointed by his propensity to sit back and play safe. With a shot like his he should be a massive threat, but it rarely happens



  14. Anonymous says:

    Login? I couldn’t give a shit one way or the other.

    A change I’d make is to call the site Europeanunionsports.com, keep it real!

    Most of the “Croats” here are false alarmers anyway.



  15. BZ says:

    Imagine that, Ante “Master of the Universe aka Zuck” Kvartuc putting a login?

    Ante’s cool with diverse opinions.

    We can all withstand the Serbs and some Muslims (not all!) trolling us with hate speech. I wish I could just reach those people, and ask them to stop the hate, and quit victimizing us sport loving Croats.

    We dominate with Rakitic or Vlasic.
    1)When Rakitic plays, Modric plays further up! Which was awesome since Dalic implemented that inverted triangle position.
    2)When Vlasic plays, Modric plays back, and Vlasic gives us a different dynamic.



  16. Dannyj says:

    Could Rakitić Modrić Vlašić gel together like say if Broz carded or something?

    Couldn’t Rakitić play that dm role or would That just be a waste

    Or does Kovacic come in for dm role if Broz out?

    Man we do have an embarrassment of riches in midfield



  17. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    Good feedback boys. Thanks you.

    I think the consensus is 70% no login. I do my best with trash comments but I can’t sit here all day and moderate.



  18. BZ says:

    If you can’t moderate, you can regulate like my bud, warren G.

    DannyJ-
    Rakitic at dm has worked well for us in the past.
    In fact, Modric at DM is also spectacular.
    If need be, they can do it and do it well, like my friend LL always says.



  19. Jamon Iberico says:

    Crnkovic, he looks passive on the pitch but look at his stats. He gets shit done and gets no credit.

    We all know how biased the rest of the world is against us brothers. It’s just to try to keep us down because those in power see us as a real threat to them.

    There will be a time where we will defeat the whole world single-handedly. It’s our destiny. It’s our history.



  20. Dannyj says:

    What’s news on vrsaljko
    Will he get much playing time or do u guys think he needs a loan or transfer
    He has has plenty of time to rest and if he comes back and gets in good form by summer will have much in the tank

    I suppose the same for Lovren
    I suppose the same for Rakitić

    Really gonna be a bit tricky for dalic
    At World Cup there wasn’t much debate on the midfield
    Maybe how he lined them up but he knew who he had to roll with
    Now with Kova really starting to step and Vlašić being a beast
    It’s gonna be tricky
    Will be terrible when luka retires but still we will have an above average midfield for what should Be at least two more tourneys



  21. Anonymous says:

    The trolls, racists, and crazies are actually just one person who has been using multiple usernames and posting on here the past several years.

    I think you could probably block their IP address from accessing this site, and be done with it.



  22. Anonymous says:

    Talks of our March friendlies being in a Qatar mini tournament. Rumors of Portugal and Belgium being our 2 games in March



  23. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous

    “??”

    Are you a moron? When you mentioned racists did you really think that @Elvis wasn’t gonna be offended?

    You know @Elvis is on record saying that half black miss Croatia is not a Croat, what do you think about that?

    That means half black Mohammedan @Crnkovic isn’t a Croat either!



  24. Anonymous says:

    ^
    I was addressing the other @Anonymous @Anonymous, the one that seemed shocked that @Elvis called him a “Yugo cunt.”





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