“It’s okay that I need a little time to adjust; Barcelona are not the same as Sevilla. They play with different style, and we are very competitive. But I understand I have to build rhythm and understand my teammates.”

Rakitic’s second spell with Sevilla

After being encouraged to leave Barcelona in the summer, Ivan Rakitic settled in his second spell with Sevilla, but on the topic of the Blaugrana, the Croatian playmaker made it clear that as far as he could tell Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, he got along well. That is far from the narrative that has been painted in the past 12 months, especially as the French striker struggled to establish himself into a central position within Los Cules’ formation. “From what they saw, Messi and Griezmann got along very well,” Rakitic explained in an interview. “I got along very well with them, the couple drink mate together and spent a lot of time in the dressing room together. If they start scoring goals, no one else will say anything; it is a requirement for great teams. I don’t have any problems because they are both amazing guys.”

The Croatian feel like a kid

Returning to Sevilla in the summer, Rakitic admitted that he needed time to return to life in the Andalusian city. “I will be judged by what I do on the pitch,” he added. “It’s okay that I need a little time to adjust; Barcelona are not the same as Sevilla. They play with different style, and we are very competitive. But I understand I have to build rhythm and understand my teammates. Every day that goes by we are improving and the last two weeks have been essential to me.” There were some concerns about Rakitic’s age and production level back at Sevilla, especially considering how fans remembered his box-to-box style of the Spanish club. However, the player himself does not feel that his body is showing any signs of wear.

“I just feel like a kid,” he confirmed. “I feel great, muscle injuries do not affect me, I take excellent care of myself. My decision to leave the Croatian national team helps that; it’s good that I can focus on Sevilla 100 per cent.”