Ivan Rakitic joined Barcelona in 2014 as the new boss, Enrique looked to replace the talented Cesc Fabregas. Talented as he may be, Fabregas did not reach his full potential for the Catalan club barring a few performances worth taking note of.
His first season was under Pep Guardiola who had a relatively dull season as compared to his track record with the club. His second season saw new boss, Tito Vilanova struggle with cancer which really impacted the team. For his third and final season at Barcelona, Cesc played under Tata Martino who failed to deliver the club from their temporary collapse.
Rakitic had been a vital figure in the Sevilla side that had won the first of their three consecutive Europa League titles. The Croatian signed for a fee of €18 million plus the loan of Denis Suarez. While on the other hand, Cesc Fabregas was sold to Chelsea for approximately €33 million. A whole €15 million difference between the two. Rakitic hit the ground running and after a minor adjustment period, gave Barcelona everything that Fabregas left to be desired.
Rakitic has brought with him, strength, possession play and a large pair of lungs that don’t tire easy. The Croat is technically brilliant and a befitting replacement for the talent Fabregas should have ideally provided.
Although Rakitic does not have a lot of goals in his game, he provides Xavi-esque balls from time to time and manages to find himself on the score line in big games. Rakitic has performed brilliantly for his country this time around and looks in good shape to lead the Croatian charge in this edition of the Euros.