Rakitic praised Enrique, Xavi

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has praised boss Luis Enrique for bringing him to the club and Xavi for the influence he has had on his career.

The 28-year-old was signed in Enrique’s first transfer window at the club in the summer of 2014, and the Croatian international has helped Barca win back-to-back league titles along with a Champions League title and two Copa Del Rey crowns.

"Luis Enrique has helped me enormously," Rakitic told France Football.

"He gave me confidence straight away, as did my teammates, which enabled me to work calmly.

"It's the 'Mister' who asked the club to sign me. If I had to throw myself off a bridge for him, I would do it without hesitation. With a look or a smile, he gives you the confidence necessary to succeed.

"Xavi gave me a lot. I have just two words to say to him, 'Thank you' – the only thing I regret is to have played just a single season with him.

"I learned so much from on and off the pitch, during our away trips, in the dressing-room. I took advantage of every moment by his side during that season. What Xavi gave this club, his teammates and the fans is unique."

Tags Ivan Rakitic Luis Enrique Xavi Hernandez