Barcelona's La Liga match against Sevilla is not special just because it could mean a step closer to the championship, but also because one of the Blaugrana's best performers is returning to the club that made him a star.
Ivan Rakitic is just the latest of former Sevilla standouts that left the Rojiblancos to join the Catalans. Dani Alves and Adriano Correia also became famous at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán and attracted the eyes and big money from Barça. Rakitic has become a fundamental piece of Barcelona's new midfield structure, and he returns to Seville as an established star, just like he was when he left the team as the Europa League champion.
In an interview with Barça's website, the Croatian reflected on his Sevilla years, and previewed what is going to be a special night for him. You can watch the full video above, but here's a few nuggets from his answers:
"It will be a very special game because of all I went through there, that I keep with me. I carry the city inside my heart and my life. Everything I did in three and a half years there has been a special time.
"Honestly, when I was introduced at Barcelona I was thinking about the match at the Sanchez-Pizjuan.
"I have to concentrate on myself, to play a good game. There are eight weeks left and to win is very important for us, I don't want to think too much.
"When the game starts, I will be in my world. I hope that I can enjoy the three points. They have a large squad and very strong, sometimes they have made changes and it hasn't affected the team.
"I am very happy for the coach, Unai Emery, who is doing phenomenal things.
"All the teams that have been at the Sanchez-Pizjuan know the difficulty of playing against Sevilla, with a fan base that knows how to pressurize. But Sevilla know too that it is not easy to play against Barcelona, we always had a hard time facing them.
"I always want to win. I want to win in training sessions, and I want to win at cards when I play at home with my wife."