Barcelona secured the services of Ivan Rakitic on Monday, with the midfielder agreeing to sign a five-year deal at the Nou Camp, according to the club’s official website.
The statement revealed that Rakitic will make the switch from Sevilla to the Spanish giants upon his return from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil:
“FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Ivan Rakitic. Ivan Rakitic will sign a contract with FC Barcelona for the next five seasons.”
With Cesc Fabregas moving to Chelsea, Rakitic appears the ideal replacement for the Spaniard in central midfielder, and he has proven over the years that he can hold his own in La Liga.
Having led Sevilla to Europa League success last season and chipped in with 12 La Liga goals, per WhoScored.com, the time is right for the 26-year-old to move on, and where better to move than the Nou Camp?
As Luis Enrique’s first signing in charge of Barcelona, there will be a certain amount of pressure on Rakitic’s shoulders when he dons the famous blue and red shirt for the first time, but he appears more than up for the challenge.
Speaking with Catalan newspaper Sport, he revealed his delight at joining Enrique's revolution in Barcelona, via Lucas Brown of Sky Sports:
"I am very happy. It is a dream come true."
Though Barcelona went without a trophy last season, having a player of Rakitic’s calibre in their ranks will help their 2014/15 cause, with WhoScored.com revealing just how big an impact he had in La Liga last term:
His performance against Brazil in the World Cup’s curtain-raiser showed Barcelona exactly what they’re getting, as his almost telepathic style of play helped Croatia make a good account of themselves in Sao Paulo.
While the quest for Group A progression will be top of Rakitic’s agenda right now, knowing that he’ll be coming out of the World Cup as a Barcelona star will undoubtedly get his excitement flowing.
He’s one of those players that just loves to play football, and with Barcelona being excellent demonstrators of just how beautiful the beautiful game can be, the Nou Camp appears his perfect destination.
Champions League football, El Clasicos and worldwide stardom now await the dynamic midfielder, as a new chapter in his already exciting career is written.