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Ivan Rakitic

Ivan Rakitić (born 10 March 1988) is a Croatian Association football who plays for Sevilla FC and the Croatia national football team.

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Ivan Rakitic biography

Ivan Rakitić (born 10 March 1988) is a Croatian Association football who plays for Sevilla FC and the Croatia national football team.

Born in Möhlin, Ivan Rakitic started Ivan Rakitic professional career at Switzerland giants FC Basel and spent two seasons with them before establishing popularity for Ivan Rakitic time in the Fußball-Bundesliga with FC Schalke 04. Although naturally a product of Switzerland's youth level, Rakitić pledged Ivan Rakitic international career to Ivan Rakitic native parentage of Croatia instead.

Early life

Rakitić was born to a Croats family. Ivan Rakitic parents emigrated to Switzerland before the Croatian war of independence. Ivan Rakitic father, Luka, and Ivan Rakitic family are originally from Sikirevci, while Ivan Rakitic mother's family are Bosnian Croats from Žepče. Rakitić spent Ivan Rakitic childhood and early career in Switzerland. Ivan Rakitic father and older brother were also footballers. With such a background, it was no surprise when Rakitić took a strong interest in the same aspirations, even as Ivan Rakitic was completing Ivan Rakitic primary school studies. Subsequent to doing so, Ivan Rakitic began to concentrate on Ivan Rakitic sporting career, with Ivan Rakitic family's encouragement. At age 16, Ivan Rakitic was noticed by top European scouts who acclaimed Ivan Rakitic young potential, although Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Rakitic family decided to stay in Basel to allow Ivan Rakitic to play more regularly in a smaller league instead.

Club career

FC Basel

After spending some short time in the youth teams, Rakitić went on to make Ivan Rakitic first-team debut for FC Basel on 29 September 2005 during the UEFA Cup away match at NK Široki Brijeg. Ivan Rakitic made Ivan Rakitic first Swiss Super League appearance on 15 April 2006 in Basel's away match against Neuchâtel Xamax. Although these two matches were the only ones Ivan Rakitic played during Ivan Rakitic first professional season with Basel, Ivan Rakitic went on to establish himself as a regular contributor in Ivan Rakitic second season, scoring 11 goals in 33 Super League appearances. Also making nine UEFA cup appearances during this time, Ivan Rakitic was named the best young player of the 2006–07 Super League season along with receiving the Swiss 'Goal of the Year' award for an impressive goal Ivan Rakitic scored against FC St Gallen.

Schalke 04

After an impressive showing as a teenager, Rakitić was again acclaimed by large European clubs who expressed interest in Ivan Rakitic young ability. On 15 September 2007, Ivan Rakitic managed to make impressions again by scoring the only goal for Schalke in their 1–1 away draw at FC Bayern Munich. Three days later, Rakitić made Ivan Rakitic 2007–08 UEFA Champions League debut in the 1–0 home defeat to Valencia CF. Ivan Rakitic then went on to make a total of seven appearances in the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League Champions League season, including a strong and very impressive midfield role in Schalke's home fixture against Chelsea F.C. in the group stage. Ivan Rakitic and current teammate Mladen Krstajić were temporarily cut from the squad the night before Schalke's next fixture against Rosenborg BK due to being caught skipping training and taking part in a late night partying. Helping Ivan Rakitic side prevail in the penalty shootout against FC Porto to reach the quarter finals for the first time, Rakitić had to miss both the fixtures of such against FC Barcelona due to an ankle injury sustained in training. Ivan Rakitic was kept out of action for a month as Schalke were eliminated from the tournament without him.

Shortly upon returning from injury, Rakitić discovered top form as Ivan Rakitic scored a goal and assisted another two in the vital 3–0 victory at VfL Bochum, which made sure Schalke finished at least third in league table and secured a place in the next Champions League. Ivan Rakitic continued such form in the next fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt, assisting Mladen Krstajić for the only goal of the match to conclude with Schalke a positive home season. In total, Ivan Rakitic finished Ivan Rakitic first Bundesliga season with three goals and ten assists in 29 appearances.

The subsequent season started well for Rakitić as Ivan Rakitic played in Schalke's 3–0 victory over Hannover 96, assisting two goals in the opening fixture.

Sevilla FC

On 28 January 2011, Rakitić signed a four-and-a-half year contract with Spanish club Sevilla FC.

Club statistics

International career

Although Ivan Rakitic had previously competed with the Swiss under-17, under-19 and under-21 national teams, Rakitić decided to take up the call by Slaven Bilić and play for the Croatia national football team at senior level. Ivan Rakitic decision to decline the original country of Ivan Rakitic birth sparked much anger from the Swiss Football Association.

Ivan Rakitic made Ivan Rakitic debut for Croatia on 8 September 2007 in their UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying against Estonia national football team in Zagreb, highly praised by the fans as Ivan Rakitic was entering the game as a substitute. In Croatia's following qualifier, a 6–0 away win over Andorra national football team on 12 September 2007, Ivan Rakitic scored Ivan Rakitic first international goal for Croatia in only Ivan Rakitic second appearance for the team. Ivan Rakitic finished the year 2007 with five senior international caps to Ivan Rakitic name, four of which were in the successful Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

In early May 2008, Ivan Rakitic was added to Croatia's squad for the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland, where Ivan Rakitic was the second-youngest player. Ivan Rakitic made Ivan Rakitic first appearance at the tournament as a starter against Germany national football team, and eventually provided a shot which ricocheted off the post and allowed teammate Ivica Olić to score the second goal in their 2–1 victory. Though playing a strong role against Turkey national football team in the quarter finals of the tournament, Rakitić went on to miss one of the three unsuccessful penalties in the shootout, thus leading to a victory for Turkey.

Rakitić continued to appear regularly for Croatia during their unsuccessful qualifying campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, making a total of 10 appearances and scoring three goals in the competition. On 15 October 2008, Ivan Rakitic scored a brace in a 4–0 win at home to Andorra national football team. On 5 September 2009, Ivan Rakitic scored the match-winning goal in a 1–0 win at home to Belarus national football team. Croatia failed to qualify for the finals after finishing third in their group.

International goals

Playing style

Rakitić is commonly deployed for Ivan Rakitic very mature and strong playing style. While playing in the Fußball-Bundesliga with Schalke, Ivan Rakitic is mainly used as a held back playmaker and is capable of creating attacks thanks to Ivan Rakitic vision and also holding the ball well to keep possession. Ivan Rakitic is, to a much lesser extent, also known for contributing to defense which is only seen when Ivan Rakitic club would play a defensive game. Ivan Rakitic often is chosen to take set pieces for both FC Schalke 04 and Croatia national football team.

While playing at international level, Rakitić has also been used in a more forward position by current coach Slaven Bilić. Ivan Rakitic ability is also used to great effect combined with Croatia's touch and move football which sees many passing along the pitch and also gives Ivan Rakitic the ability to make many runs on the left flank to create attacks. Ivan Rakitic has shown a great knowledge of offense in many games, and Ivan Rakitic delivery and unexpected shot accuracy with both feet are also among Ivan Rakitic strengths. During Euro 2008 in Austria and Ivan Rakitic native Switzerland, Ivan Rakitic formed part of a widely praised trident of attacking midfielders deployed by Slaven Bilic, along with Ivan Rakitic team-mates Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar.

Personal life

Ivan has a brother, Dejan Rakitić, who also played football shortly before suffering a major injury which put Ivan Rakitic out of action permanently. Rakitić has a tattoo supporting Ivan Rakitic with the word "Dejan" on Ivan Rakitic right arm. Ivan Rakitic is fluent in German language, Swiss German, Croatian language and English language.

Dejan Rakitić made comeback in 2008 signing for Swiss side Black Stars Basel.


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