For most aspiring footballers, lining up alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez is the stuff of dreams – but for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, it is far from a walk in the park.
Rakitic enjoyed an impressive debut season at the Nou Camp following his £14million move from Sevilla in July 2014, with his tireless work rate a feature of his game.
The Croatian often played as part of a midfield trio that enabled the tri-ple threat up front to roam free in their relentless march to a record-breaking number of goals last season, but Rakitic has claimed this has led to greater defensive responsibilities.
Messi, Suarez and Neymar scored 122 goals last season, but the midfielder told Spanish paper Marca: ‘Many people say that it is very easy to play with them. I don’t agree.