Since the start of the season, we’ve been keeping an eye on things at Barcelona, and Ivan Rakitić’s situation is one that has stuck out.
Once an indisputable starter at the Camp Nou, the playmaker has now seen his role relegated to that of a part-timer, starting just one game and totalling 186 minutes of football so far.
Ernesto Valverde even said the Croatian wasn’t injured when he was left out of the squad for the game against Villarreal, stating a ‘technical decision’ as the reason behind his absence.
Now on international duty with his national team, Rakitić used a press conference on Tuesday to vent some of his frustration at this situation, and he didn’t hold back.
He said, relayed by Index in Croatia: “I would also like to know the reason for my situation in Barcelona. There are things in football that we cannot always understand, but we have to respect. It’s uncomfortable and difficult because I’m used to playing. I was always ready to give anything for the team, and now it’s changed a little bit.
“I’m sincere and honest. I know the situation. Honestly, I can’t understand it. I can’t wait to get back on the field. I didn’t come to Barcelona to walk on the beach. I talked to people at the club, I stayed even though I thought of other situations.
“I want to fight, for the team to see I’m ready whenever they need me to run out onto the field. If I see that nothing changes, then we will sit down and talk again”.
Staying very quiet over the summer, this is the first time Rakitić has spoken out to this extent on how things currently are for him at Barcelona, and it seems patience is starting to wear thin.
With the January window and the rumours to go with it starting to rear its head, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a few teams knocking on his agent’s door to see if there is the possibility of a move.
Beyond that, it’s also Barcelona’s decision, as they might want to keep him around for squad depth.
The last game Rakitić started was the 2-0 loss to Granada back on September 21st. He has since come off the bench twice against Getafe and Sevilla for a combined 30 minutes.