Rakitic: I respect Enrique’s decision

Ivan Rakitic says he was disappointed to be left out of Barcelona’s team for last month’s El Clasico, but respects boss Luis Enrique’s decision.

The former Schalke and Sevilla midfielder, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, also revealed the Barcelona style is still something he is still getting used to.

“I respected the boss’s decision to leave me out, yet to me it doesn’t hurt more not to play at the Santiago Bernabeu than it does not to play against Rayo or leave me in the stands at Eibar,” he confessed.

“I’m happy with what I’m doing but I know I’m not 100 per cent and there are still things I need to improve upon.

“Therefore, I want to take every opportunity to convince the boss he can trust me. If he picks me then I want to show it against Sevilla [this weekend].

“The style here is different to Sevilla. If I played in the same position it would still be different because Barca’s style is unique.

“I’ve quickly picked up the Coach’s and Barca’s ideas but I want to get better. I’m very self-critical.”

The Croatian attempted to explain the dip in Barcelona’s form of late, with defeats to Real Madrid and Celta Vigo and a poor performance against Almeria.

“There are fine margins. If Leo [Messi] had scored to make it 2-0 in the Bernabeu we don’t know how it would have ended up, or even if [Gerard] Pique hadn’t slipped and given away a penalty. It would all have been different.

“Also, if we hadn’t hit the woodwork three or four times against Celta we’d have won two or three nil, but that’s football.

“Not everything is bad and we know we must improve, but generally we are positive and the important thing is that we all believe in the same idea.

“It’s like a car that needs fine-tuning and when everything is running smoothly it will be a lot easier,” he insisted.

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