Rakitic finds favor in new coach

Ivan Rakitic said in November 2019 that “they have taken my ball away”.

The comment was made when former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde lost faith in the Croatian footballer.

While he is still in and out under Quique Setien, he’s definitely more involved now, having scored a vital goal against Athletic Club to grab a win for Barcelona.

Barcelona know his signing is more than amortized.

The club wanted to force Rakitic out and make money ahead of his contract expiring next summer.

“I’m not a sack of potatoes,” said Rakitic. The club’s relationship with him is not in its best moment. Ivan would have liked to go back to Sevilla but the club won’t make a big investment for him, knowing he will walk free within a year.

Setien has used him for 665 minutes in the 12 league games since he took over, more than the 607 that Valverde picked him in this season, across 10 games from the 19 he handled.