Rakitic: “I want to stay at Barca, but I want to play”

FC Barcelona’s Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic insisted that he is at the club in order to play, but added that if he doesn’t get game time he will have to look elsewhere.

The 31-year-old has made only five brief appearances for Barca so far this season, totaling just under 160 minutes Liga Santander action, however, the fact he has participated in Barca’s last two wins implies he is working his way back into the plans of coach Ernesto Valverde.

“I am at Barca in order to play,” he commented in a press conference with the Croatian national side, adding he would “do everything possible to change the situation.”

One reason Rakitic was sidelined at the start of the campaign appears to be that the club was interested in selling him, but the midfielder insisted: “I have two years left on my contract and where better to spend then than playing for Barcelona.

“It is the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the town and on the beach,” he added.

“I want to fight so that the team can see I’m ready to go out onto the pitch, but if I see the situation doesn’t change, we will have to sit down and talk,” said Rakitic, who also thanked the fans for the ovation they gave him when he went on as a 70th minute substitute in Sunday’s 4-0 win at home to Sevilla.