Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has revealed that he is realising a life-long ambition by immersing himself in Catalan culture.
The Croatia international – a €20m arrival from Sevilla last summer – has recently enjoyed a prolonged run in the side, but while he has adjusted to living in the spotlight at Camp Nou, he is adamant he will never lose his humility.
“I’ve always wanted to live in the centre [of a big town like Barcelona],” he explained in the second part of his interview with Cadena SER.
“My work is what I like to do, but I’m just a normal person, who shops at supermarkets, goes out for walks with his dog and enjoys time with his family.
“[On being Champions League favourites], that’s football. It can change in two days, but though we’re now seen as favourites, we won’t relax.
“We know it wasn’t easy to get to this point. A month ago, [the media] didn’t like our way of playing.
“We’re experiencing a sweet period [at the moment] but this road is very long. Nobody will give us anything. We’ll fight to be the best.
“My situation depends on whether [Lionel] Messi plays on the right wing. We set ourselves up in accordance with [the needs of] the match.
“We must always position ourselves well and press. Every game is different and has its own needs, but what matters is what the team needs [to do].
“Each stadium has its own qualities. The most beautiful thing is playing in front of your fans.
“[Josep Maria Bartomeu’s] very close [to the team]. I’ve not been here for very long, so I’m not in a position to discuss Barca’s operations.
“Everything comes down to the football. We’re a very close-knit squad with a common goal, which is to win everything.”