Ivan Rakitic has rejoined UEFA Europa League champions, Sevilla, on a four-year contract after spending six trophy-laden seasons at Barcelona.
The Andalusian side have reached an agreement with Barcelona, which will see the Croatian midfielder heading back to Sevilla for an initial fee of €1.5m with various add ons attached to it.
Since then, the versatile midfielder has appeared in more than 300 matches across all competitions for Barcelona, scoring 36 goals in the process.
The versatile midfielder is leaving Barcelona after six glittering seasons and helped the club to win a total of 13 major honours, including four La Liga titles and one Champions League.
Ivan Rakitic, at 32, had a year left in his Barcelona contract but decided to return to Sevilla, where he spent four seasons from 2011 to 2014, scoring 32 goals in 149 appearances overall.
So, with the Croatian leaving Barcelona and rejoining Sevilla, let’s have a look at Ivan Rakitic’s top three moments in the famous Blaugrana shirt.
#3 Assisting Lionel Messi’s wonder-goal against Bayern Munich in 2014-15 UCL
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi mesmerized the whole world with his wonder-goal against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League. The Argentine ace left Jerome Boateng on the floor before lofting the ball over Manuel Neuer with his right foot.
However, it was Ivan Rakitic, who turned provider to find Messi with a perfect ball into his left-foot, with the Argentine doing the rest.
Rakitic’s quick thinking and sharp footballing brain enabled Messi to have a go against Boateng in a one-on-one situation, thus exposing Bayern’s defensive flaws in containing the Barcelona talisman.
So, amongst many other goals and numerous assists, Ivan Rakitic’s simple forward pass with the outer side of his boot will go down as one of the main highlights of his Barcelona career.
#2 Scoring El Clasico winner in 2018-19 La Liga:
Ivan Rakitic’s first-half goal was enough to hand Barcelona a league double over arch-rivals, Real Madrid in the 2018-19 La Liga campaign. Although the Catalan side dominated the whole game, the Croatian provided the cutting edge to see off Los Blancos in their own backyard.
A simple one-two between Rakitic and Sergi Roberto opened up Real Madrid’s defence, with the 32-year-old providing the final touch by dinking over Thibaut Courtois in the 26th minute.
Rakitic’s goal helped Barcelona to take a 10-point lead at the top of the La Liga table in March that year, and eventually, the Catalan giants sweated very little to register their 26th domestic league triumph.
Besides the winner against Real Madrid in the 2018-19 season, the Swiss-born midfielder could only find the back of the net just once in 10 appearances against Los Blancos in his Barcelona career.
#1 Scoring against Juventus in 2014-15 UCL final:
Ivan Rakitic’s best moment in the Barcelona shirt came against Juventus in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League final in Berlin.
It was the Croatian who broke the deadlock to put the Spanish giants 1-0 ahead against the Old lady, with Barcelona ultimately lifting the Champions League trophy for the fifth time in their history with a 3-1 scoreline on the night.
Although Rakitic may have found the back of the net on several other occasions with a better technicality, none comes anywhere close to the goal in Berlin in terms of the weightage it carries, as it helped Barcelona regain their supremacy on the continental stage once again.
Reflecting on the goal that he scored in the final, Ivan Rakitic himself chose that moment in Berlin as his favorite one in the Barcelona shirt. The 32-year-old explained,
“That moment cannot be explained. I wanted to hug the whole stadium, not just the three team-mates next to me. I wanted to open my arms, grab everyone… I got goosebumps.”
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