Ivan Rakitić has revealed he was fighting a fever the night before Croatia’s 2-1 extra time win over England in the FIFA World Cup semifinals.
“Last night I had a strong fever, almost 39 degrees,” the FC Barcelona star said in a post-match interview. That’s around 102 Fahrenheit.
“I was laying in bed trying to gather my strength to play,” he continued, “and it was worth it.”
Croatia have been through a lot mentally and physically, needing to go to 120 minutes in each of their knockout matches to secure the right to play France in the final.
The Croatians went behind in each of their three knockout games, but every time, they were able to get back in the match. Twice, they needed penalties to advance, with the last and winning kick going to Rakitić both times.
As for the final, there’s no doubt Rakitić will do everything possible to play. “I will play the final on one leg if I have to,” he said.