Ivan Rakitic, who recently signed for Barcelona, assured that he is not concerned about being the one to replace Xavi or Cesc Fàbregas.
"I'm not going to replace anyone; I'm going to Barcelona to be Ivan Rakitic. I'm going to do things my way. I want to give my best and I'm going to work flat out every day," said the Croatian midfielder.
As he bid farewell to Sevilla, Rakitic declared that he is leaving as a "Sevilla fan" and that he hopes that this is "see you later and not farewell". "My daughter is a member and I'm going to sign up my entire family, including me, because I'm leaving as a Sevilla fan. For the European Super Cup, I'll put my shirt on, my girl will wear the scarf, and my wife will wear something from Sevilla as well, so we can all watch it together," he assured.
Unable to fight back the tears, Rakitic confessed that he "didn't know that this – which is very special – would be so difficult", but that he is sure that his departure will not affect the sporting performance of a team which "will be among the top four or five again next year".
Between jokes, the new Barcelona player praised Sevilla's director of football, Ramón Rodríguez 'Monchi', and said that "every Sevilla fan should have a photo of him hanging on their bedroom wall".
The club president, Pepe Castro, declared that Rakitic "has become an idol" after "playing just 149 games" for the club, because he "made the idiosyncrasies" of the Andalusian outfit "his own".