As Barcelona is set to face off against Sevilla this Saturday, the Barcas’ Ivan Rakitic says that he is excited to meet his former team in the field.
“It will be a very special game because of everything I experienced there,” Rakitic said of the upcoming match in an interview posted in Barcelona’s official website.
Rakitic spent his first four seasons in the La Liga with the Sevillistas from 2010 to 2014. During his stay, the 27–year old Croatian managed to score a total of 34 goals and helped establish Sevilla as one of the premier clubs in Europe. He also served as captain of the team from 2013 until 2014.
The midfielder remarked that he has been waiting for the match-up after moving out of Sevilla. “Honestly, ever since I was introduced at Barcelona I have been thinking about the match against Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjua,” Rakitic remarked.
Rakitic’s performance in Sevilla caught the attention of then Barcelona director of football Andoni Zabizaretta, who paved the way for the Barcas to offer him a five-year contract. The midfielder netted his first goal for his new team in Barcelona’s match against Levante in September.
He also expressed fondness for the city of his former team. “The city has engraved itself very deeply into my heart and my life,” he said. “What I have experienced there for three and a half years was a special time.”
However, Rakitic emphasized that he is aware that, amid all the nostalgia, the match is important for Barcelona’s La Liga title bid. “I have to concentrate on myself, to play a good game,” he said. “There are eight weeks left and to win is very important for us, I don’t want to think too much.”
“When the game starts, I will be in my world. I hope that I can enjoy the three points. They have a large squad and very strong, sometimes they have made changes and it hasn’t affected the team.”