Ivan Rakitic is Open to Returning to the Croatia National Team

Daniela Rogulj

Slobodan Kadic
Slobodan Kadic

Slobodan Kadic

September 30, 2020 – Ivan Rakitic is open to returning to the Croatia national team, the footballer revealed in an exclusive interview with HRT. 

When Ivan Rakitic announced a week ago that he was saying goodbye to the Croatia national football team, many were surprised, though others saw it coming. One of the greatest football players in Croatian history revealed in an exclusive interview with HRT what reasons led Ivan Rakitic to the end of his Croatia career.

Behind Ivan Rakitic is a turbulent period where he made several difficult life decisions for himself and his family, and they followed in his footsteps – even the dogs!

“Dogs are part of our family. There is something else that has not been seen, we also have a little rabbit. In a way we came home, we are where it all started.”

Judging by the first two appearances for his new-old club Sevilla, Ivan Rakitic showed that he did not lose the class that adorned him playing for Barcelona at the highest level. Sevilla’s new number 10 won a penalty kick in the Super Cup against Bayern and scored in the Spanish championship against Cadiz.

“There is still work to be done and to prepare even better. For all of us, this summer was something different.”

And another very emotional rollercoaster was saying goodbye to the national team.

“The hardest day, maybe the worst day. After no defeat in my career have I felt such pressure in my chest. When I picked up my phone to call the coach, in a way, the words didn’t want to come out…”

HRT asked if he would come back if Dalic needed him again to shoot that crucial penalty.

“I always want to leave the door open. My national team, my Vatreni, the coach and the whole of Croatia can count on me. In minutes and penalties – I am always ready for my Croatia.”

And he didn’t hesitate for long when asked about the Vatreni moment he would remember for the rest of his life.

“Every day was special, every day was something different.”

Recall, after 106 appearances and 15 goals for the Croatia national football team, Ivan Rakitic decided to retire. The vice-captain of the national team was one of the key players in Croatia’s campaign for the World Cup silver in 2018, when he scored the decisive penalties in the victories against Denmark and Russia.

“Saying goodbye to the Croatia national team is the most difficult decision in my career, but I felt that this was the moment when I had to break and make that decision. I enjoyed every game I played for my homeland, and unforgettable moments from the World Cup will remain among my favorites. I am convinced that we still have a great team with a bright future ahead. I wish my friends and teammates all the international sports luck in the upcoming challenges, and they will have the biggest fan in me,” said Ivan Rakitic on his farewell.

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