Ivan Rakitic has claimed that Barcelona have “maximum desire” to win a sextuple of trophies this year.
La Blaugrana won their second treble last season and can match their achievements of 2009 if they win Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla, the following Supercopa with Athletic Bilbao and the Club World Cup in December.
“We have tremendous enthusiasm, are working hard and have a lot of respect for Sevilla,” the former sevillista told reporters.
“There’s nothing better than to start the season with a trophy and knowing that we’re competing at a very high level. It’ll take a lot to put in a great performance.
“Leo [Messi] and Ney [Neymar] are very important, but so are the others.
“Needless to say, we’re a better team with them and it’s important that we make them feel comfortable.
“The date of the match is what it is. No team can be at 100 percent just yet, but it’s our first game of the season and there are no excuses.
“Our desire to continue making history is maximum. We will work in the best way possible for the sextuple. We trust ourselves and our strength.
“We have a very strong team. Honestly, I try to be myself. I like to take responsibility.
“I come from a team where I was captain, so I like my teammates to trust me.
“If Messi, who is the best player in history, is happy and feeling fine, I’m sure that everything will be easier. We can win everything again.
“My role with or without Xavi [Hernandez] will be the same. Since day one, I’ve wanted to be Ivan Rakitic.
“I have my character and style of play. Nothing will change. I’ll keep working hard.”