Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic is really the key to a lot of the team’s success of late. Rakitic just makes everything so much easier for Messi and the other star players around him. So there’s no other midfielder to model your game after and learn how to play like than Ivan Rakitic.
In a sense, Rakitic does all the hard work on the soccer field, the running and winning of the soccer ball. He setups up players and makes the final killer pass that leads to a goal. He keeps the ball and slows things down when needed.
But Rakitic does it in such a way that it often goes unnoticed. Rakitic makes it look so easy. He never loses the soccer ball. He’s always in the right place at the right time. He always makes the easy pass. He doesn’t need so much attention. He’s a player that every soccer coach in the world would want on their team and every player too.
This is what Jose Mourinho said about Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic recently:
"Before I leave, let me say something. I’ve wanted to say this for a long, long time: Ivan Rakitic is one of the most underrated players in the world. I just wanted to finish on that because normally we speak about the big names. He’s a fantastic player at every level. He does defensive work on the right hand side to compensate Messi, he runs miles. In ball possession, he’s fantastic, he’s simple, and he’s effective. He is one of the most underrated players.
For me, Rakitic needs to improve his Instagram and his social media because in this moment this is very important and he is not very good on that, he is good on the pitch."
Ivan Rakitic is a complete midfielder. Take a look.
And as you can imagine, many soccer leagues and teams went to claim that they helped Rakitic become the player he is today. When he was 19 Rakitic played in the Bundesliga for FC Schalke. He came on in his first game with 20 minutes left and scored a fantastic goal.
Like most top soccer players in the world, one thing that stands out about Rakitic is how he uses his body to protect and shield the ball. He’s never caught with his body in the wrong position when he takes possession of the ball. Meaning, he always gets his body in front of the ball when he wins it or receives a pass. This is really what makes a great midfielder. He receives the ball knowing where he’s going to take the ball with his next movement. Where he’s going to turn and make that next pass.
Here’s what Rakitic said about playing with Messi:
“If I can make Leo that little bit better, so I do it. Sometimes, I laugh on the pitch watching Leo’s skill. He’s a unique player. If you want to see skill like that, you have to take PlayStation! I don’t like playing against Leo in training. I like him in my team. It’s easy then! Of course I like Cristiano [Ronaldo], he’s a big player, and there are maybe ten players really special and I respect them and I say to all of them, ‘Congratulations’, but if we speak about the best, it is Leo Messi."
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