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Ivan Rakitic has had enough: “I am 31 years old, not 38”

Ivan Rakitic in Champions League action, at the Camp Nou, against Slavia Praha. / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
Ivan Rakitic in Champions League action, at the Camp Nou, against Slavia Praha. / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic has opened up about his situation at the club – a situation that seems rather irreversible for the starter-turned-reserve player.

What has happened to the situation of midfielder Ivan Rakitic almost seems like it happened overnight. Having been one of manager Ernesto Valverde’s most fielded players last season, the arrival of de Jong and the impressive form of the former Gremio-man, Arthur Melo, has seen Rakitic warm the bench.

The Txingurri defended the Croatian countless times last season, but as this Liga campaign was about to start became more clear publicly about the truth: no one can be guaranteed minutes in a midfield as packed as Barcelona’s. Carles Aleñá and Riqui Puig have been victims of this, and even Arturo Vidal who was on the pitch quite often last season has played a minimal role until recently.

Due to the Croatian’s role in the team this season being less prominent and thus him being unhappy about his situation, Rakitic could look for a way out this January. And he has decided to open up about his feelings, in his latest interview with Spanish TV channel, MoviStar+.

In a way to best describe how he was feeling, he used a sort of analogy from his life as a parent.

“How my daughter feels when a toy is taken away from her? Sad. I feel the same way. The ball has been taken away from me – I feel sad,” Rakitic admitted.

He feels he is being treated like a player who is older than he is, and feels that what he has done for the club since his arrival in 2014 is being underappreciated.

“One [as a footballer] only enjoys himself when he’s playing. I am 31 years old, not 38, and I feel that I am at my best [right now],” the midfielder explained.

“I understand and respect the decisions of the manager, or the club, or whomever [makes the decisions], but I think I have given this club a lot in the five years [I have spent here],” he added.

After opening up about his feelings about the decisions being made regarding his playing time, the player who was once courted by Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan, explained his most important objective.

“What I want to do is to continue enjoying myself [as a footballer]. That is what matters the most to me,” the out-of-favor midfielder told MoviStar+.

Rakitic’ current contract with the club runs out in 2022. The squad list for the friendly game against Cartagena this coming Wednesday evening includes handful of first-team players combined with many players from the B-team. Rakitic was originally set to miss it due to international duty, but encountered a setback inform of an injury picked up during training.

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