Ivan Rakitić joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2014. The midfielder was born to Croatian parents in Rheinfelden, Switzerland, on March 10, 1988, and he has dual nationalities (Swiss and Croat).
Rakitić, who spent his childhood in Switzerland, followed in his father and brother’s footsteps and began to develop his footballing career. He joined the youth team of Basel, where he made his debut in a UEFA Cup match against Neuchatel Xamax on September 29 of 2005 at the age of 17. But it wasn’t until the following season, 2006/07, that he became a regular starter for the team. He won the Swiss Cup with Basel and he scored 11 goals that season, which earned him the accolade of Best Young Player of the Swiss Superleague.
His breakout season in Switzerland didn’t go unnoticed, and one of the historic teams in Germany, Schalke 04, signed the player in the summer of 2007. In his Bundesliga debut he scored a goal, against VF Stuttgart. He played for Schalke 04 for three and a half seasons, and during this time he scored 17 goals in 135 matches and his team finished second in the 2009/2010 season.
In the winter transfer window of the 2011/12 season, Rakitić signed for Sevilla. He made his debut in La Liga against Málaga on February 6 of 2011. Since his arrival to the Andalusian side, the midfielder won the confidence of his managers and became the leader of the team’s midfield. Rakitić was named the captain of Sevilla in the 2013/14 season. Sevilla would go on to win the Europa League, and Rakitić was named the MVP of the final. In his three and a half seasons with Sevilla, Ivan Rakitić scored 30 goals from 145 matches.
Despite featuring for the Swiss national youth teams, the player elected to play for Croatia. Since his debut at the age of 19, on September 8 of 2007, he’s become a nearly permanent feature for Croatia. He participated in two Eurocups (2008 and 2010) and in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Ivan Rakitic made his official debut for the Club on 24 August 2014 in La Liga against Elche. The match ended with a Barça's victory (3-0).
In his first season at the Club, the ex-Sevilla player played a total of 50 games — 32 in La Liga, 12 in the Champions League and six in the Spanish Cup, scoring a total of eight goals. His biggest goal came on 6 June 2015 in the Champions League Final against Juventus, opening the scoring and paving the way to Barça's fifth European Cup.
Rakitić is a versatile and physical midfielder who can stake a claim on nearly every inch of the midfield. He’s an offensive-minded player, but he is also an avid defender when his team requires it. He has good game vision and his passing capability is excellent. Throughout his career he’s stood out as great assister. He also possesses a powerful shot. He is also excellent at crashing the box, an ability that has allowed him to increase his goalscoring tally since his arrival to Spanish football.