Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic says that signing for Barcelona this summer was a dream come true.
The 26-year-old, who was snapped up from Sevilla after three-and-half years at the Sanchez Pizjuan, told UEFA.com that he could not wait to share a dressing room with the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
“Wearing this shirt is fulfilling a dream and it is a wonderful feeling. All children dream of coming here,” said Rakitic.
“When I signed for Barca my only thought was sharing a dressing room with players such as these. I wanted to learn from them as players and as people.
“They are footballers who have won everything and I know I have to learn and try to take a step forward.
“You can realise your full potential if you feel happy and integrated, and I’ve felt like that since my first day at Barcelona.”
Rakitic also spoke of his past after becoming a regular with Basel then moving to Schalke for €5m in June 2007.
“I’ll never forget my beginnings with Basel, a club I’ll always hold in my heart, and after that playing in the Champions League with Schalke, who have massive support, was fantastic.
“That was very important for me because I had made the transition from the Swiss League to the Bundesliga, which is different and much stronger,” he added, before praising his current boss Luis Enrique.
“He is very clear in his ideas and pays great attention to detail,” revealed Rakitic.