Santiago Bernabeu

Next Game

R Madrid v Barcelona

Saturday, 25 October 2014, 17:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Camp Nou

Last Game

Barcelona 3 - 1 Ajax

Tuesday, 21 October 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group F

Rakitic hails Barcelona trio

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic feels he could be operating behind the three best players in the world this season in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Last Updated: 29/07/14 at 18:09 Post Comment

Ivan Rakitic: Looking forward to playing with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neym

Ivan Rakitic: Looking forward to playing with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neym

After a disappointing 2013/14 campaign, the Catalan club, with new boss Luis Enrique at the helm, have made some major some moves over the summer to strengthen their squad.

That has included recruiting Croatia international Rakitic from Primera Division rivals Sevilla, as well spending £75million to add Suarez to a frontline that already features global superstars Messi and Neymar.

Meanwhile, Spanish rivals Real Madrid - who finished third, level with on points with second-placed Barca, in the league last term but won the Copa del Rey and European Cup - have also brought in big names, with Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez arriving to join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the Bernabeu.

Speaking on Tuesday at the St George's Park National Football Centre in Burton upon Trent, where Barcelona are having a training camp this week, Rakitic was unwilling to talk about Real.

But regarding his own club's high-profile attacking trio, the 26-year-old said: "I think that these three players are maybe the best players in the world.

"I think from these players we can learn so much.

"We have to work together to be a strong team, a hard team."

It may be some time before the three play together in the Barcelona side, with Neymar currently recovering from the back injury that ended his World Cup with hosts Brazil, and Uruguay's Suarez serving the four-month suspension from all football-related activity he was handed by FIFA in June following his bite at the tournament on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

The ban means Suarez is not even taking part in training sessions with his new club for the time being, although, having seen an appeal to FIFA rejected, he has since gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and a decision is expected in August.

What emerges from that process remains to be seen, but Rakitic is keen to get working with the former Liverpool man and says he is "expecting that he (Suarez) can start soon with us".

Rakitic said: "I think he is one of the best players in the world, so of course, I would like it if he could be with us today or tomorrow.

"I am expecting that he can start soon with us and I hope that he will do the same things for Barcelona like he did for Liverpool."

Rakitic, who welcomed the news that fellow midfielder Xavi has opted to stay at Barcelona for at least another season, believes he has signed for a club that "have to win all the time" and "deserve to win games and titles".

He emphasised the extent of the work already being done toward that end as Barca go about their pre-season preparations, which will see them working at St George's Park - where they arrived on Monday - through to Friday before they depart for France on Saturday to play Nice in a friendly.

And, certainly, Rakitic has been impressed by the Burton upon Trent complex, the England national team's base.

"I think it is unbelievable," he said.

"Our national team in Croatia - I think we will never have something like this.

"It is unbelievable and a perfect place for us to work. We are really happy to be here and we hope these five days we can work so hard to be ready.

"I will say one thing for English football - they have something unbelievable and for me, as a Croatian player, I would like to have something like this in Croatia, but it is not possible."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

eah, if there's one thing football autobiographies need more of, it's mind numbing-inanity and platitudinous tales of bantz.

Hallicks
Robson blasts Keane book

W

e were a steaming pile of recently released dogs dinner.

popularpete,
Wenger: We refused to lose

I

m sure I'll be one of about 100 but the Monday's third allbum was actually Pill, Thrills n Bellyache. Brendan would kill for quality like that right now.

u man
Brendan Rodgers: Radiohead Or The Happy Mondays

Footer 365

Michael Chopra says he wants to become a manager in India

Michael Chopra wants to follow in the footsteps of David James and Marco Materazzi and become a manager.

Rodgers and Hodgson unite on press treatment of Sterling

Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson have united to condemn the treatment of Raheem Sterling by the press this week.

FA seeks answers from Garry Monk over post-match criticism of referees

The FA has contacted Swansea manager Garry Monk regarding his post-match media comments at Stoke.

Mail Box

Oh Mario - Why Always Meh?

Come on in and play the Liverpool blame game. Is it the fault of Rodgers, Balotelli, Mignolet, Johnson, Markovic or Lovren? Plus, Arsenal fans annoyed in victory...

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property