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Ivan Rakitić: “They took the ball away from me, and I’m sad”

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The Croatian says he wants to play a lot more at Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Slavia Praha: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ivan Rakitić has spoken out about his lack of playing time for Barcelona this season. The Croatian used to be a regular for Ernesto Valverde last season, but this year, he has been finding it hard to get on the pitch after the arrival of Frenkie de Jong.

“How does one enjoy? Playing football. It’s like I say all the time. How does my little girl feel when you take away her toy? She feels sad,” the midfielder mused. “That’s just how I feel. They took the ball away from me. I feel sad.”

“I like to show my feelings. When it’s time to cry, there’s no problem. When it’s time to celebrate, I’m the first to do so,” the Croatian continued in a teaser for the show Universo Valdano, hosted by ex Real Madrid and Argentina legend Jorge Valdano.

“I understand and respect the decisions of a manager, of a club, or anything, but what’s true is I have given so much in the five-plus years I’ve had here, and what I want is to continue to feel good,” Rakitić went on to say.

“That’s the most important thing for me. You only feel good when you’re playing. That’s the way it is. I am 31 years old, not 38. In reality, I feel like I’m in my best moment,” he said.

The Croatian has been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou during the winter transfer window.