Ivan Rakitic says Barcelona attitude cost them Champions Leagues – ‘We gifted games, I’d do it differently’

Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has made a series of somewhat startling statements about his team’s atittude during the latter half of his time in Catalonia. At the end of Luis Enrique’s spell and during Ernesto Valverde’s tenure, Barcelona were enormously successful domestically, but were defined often by their disappointing European form, and the Croatian explained that it was down to their lack of focus.

After winning the treble in 2015, Rakitic remembered their historic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, winning 6-5 on aggregate after a 4-0 defeat in the first leg.

“Those moments, since everything happens very quickly, you remember them after a while. Everyone talks about the titles you won, but it is those games that really remain in the memory. If there was a team capable of doing it, it was us “It was a crazy day, one of the biggest games in the history of the Champions League.”

However he says complacency had set in by that point, with his side feeling they were a level above their opponents, as he explained to Gerard Romero on Jijantes.

“What happened to us after is not surprising. We came to feel too superior. We gave away games and it cost us titles. Now, years later, we would all like to go back and do it again, and we would surely have two or three more Champions Leagues.”

Now at Al-Shabab, Rakitic explained that their 3-0 defeat to Roma in 2018 was the most painful of the lot, for the fashion it came in.

“The worst was the one in Rome, because we gave it away. Without taking credit away from the rival and congratulating them for the game they played, but we gave it away. When you’re not properly in the game, it can happen to you. And it was our fault.”

“We would do it differently if we could go back in time. Without making changes, just always being really committed. Because you can’t hit the repeat button. Football is the moment, it’s the now. I think we did a lot of spectacular things, but It makes me sad, because I think we were one of the best generations that football has ever seen and we could have gotten a lot more out of it.”

Often Barcelona’s collapses, most notably in Rome and Liverpool, but also against Juventus following the PSG comeback, were described as ‘inexplicable’, but Rakitic’s statements certainly shed more light on the culture at the club at the time. It seems a remarkable mindset given Barcelona went on a run of eight La Liga titles in 11 years at one stage, and generally it is considered more difficult to maintain consistency in the league than in cup competitions.

Tags Al-Shabab Barcelona Champions League Ivan Rakitic Roma

1 Comment

  1. One of our biggest problems were the way people were treated and players that got favored over others! For example we kept Pedro and sold Sanchez we sold one the best forwards in David villla for like 4 mil while he had at least 3 more good years or having Sergio Roberto staying at the club for no reason! How about the embarrassing pique at some point he was hanging on Dzeko as if he wanted to blow him instead of defending him. Also purchases like Dembele coutinho that in no word could fit Barca style of play! We could have far better players for a fraction of the money! Managerial part was fked up since Guardiola left! I hated the mediocre shitverde or Enrique which is no more than a hype! His treble was all about the Messi Suarez Neymar factor otherwise he never brought anything to the game!

Comments are closed

La Liga - Club News