The Croatian midfielder hopes to play till his contract expires in 2021.

FC Barcelona and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic gave a clear indication of happiness in his existing environment and is committed to continue playing for the Catalans atleast till his current contract expires in 2021. The experienced campaigner has represented Barcelona in close to 300 appearances and has offered distinguished service during his time since moving from Sevilla in the summer of 2014.

Ivan Rakitic was deemed as a makeweight for the ever-rumoured Neymar reunion with Barcelona but the move dematerialized and the ensuing furore by Rakitic saying that he is “not a sack of potatoes to do anything with” left a bitter taste in the mouth for both the player and the fans.

But Rakitic has moved on and has reportedly enjoyed his time at Barcelona and certainly under coach Quique Setien.

“I’ve got used to it a bit. I’ve been here six years now – so I’ve had six years of this sort of thing. I have to try to understand it, to remember that football is not just a sport. There is a bit more to it. We know that, but we have to try to understand it – you have a laugh about it sometimes,” said Rakitic about speculations surrounding his future to Sky.

But Rakitic mentioned his commitment to Barcelona despite talking wisely about the need for any move or an extension. He said, “The main thing is that I feel good and I am getting good feedback from the manager and the club. I’ve still got a contract, when I sign a contract I always intend to fulfil it, and if that cannot happen for any reason, then we’ll sit down together and talk about it. But for the moment, I am very happy here and I am thinking about other stuff.”

LaLiga players returned for voluntary checks as part of the clubs’ Coronavirus testing measures ahead of a reported return of league football.

Speaking about his experience during the shutdown, Rakitic recounted, “It was a funny feeling, a bit uncomfortable, driving with gloves on, with a mask on, pretty weird, the situation is a new one for us, and you do have, well maybe not fear, but you certainly have respect for the situation. Today’s the first day I’ve been out in 60 days. I’ve only been 30-40 metres from the house until now.”

“We’ve been allowed for, I think, about a week, to go out walking with children for one hour per day, and that was it. So today was the first time I’ve been properly out of the house,” added the experienced Croat.

As things stand, Barcelona currently maintain a two-point gap on rivals Real Madrid in La Liga and will look for home comfort after their 1-1 draw in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Napoli.

Speaking on the challenges that lay ahead after the season resumes, Ivan Rakitic replied, “In football, you have to be ready for anything but as I’ve said I don’t want to look too far ahead. I want to enjoy the moment and get ready to play whenever we are able to or allowed to.”

Rakitic added, “We are still in the Champions League – we have the second leg of the last-16 tie against Napoli. In La Liga, we are two points ahead of Real Madrid, and we have fair few games still to play. We want to try to enjoy that, and after that, we’ll see.”

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