Ivan Rakitic signed his new Barcelona contract on Friday, which was also his 29th birthday. The midfielder was proud of being able to sign on until 2021.
Speaking to Barcelona TV he said, after meeting Josep Bartomeu to pen his new deal, “it has been a pefect day to be able to sign my renewal with Barcelona. I am very proud, already being at the best club in the world is the best gift possible.”
In the same interview Rakitic, who scored one of Barcelona’s goals in the 2015 Champions League final, added “when I arrived the first few days were complicated. It was another world, very different. Later, with the years, I got to know the people, what Barcelona meant in the world and I carry it inside. It fills me with pride to be here. For me it’s impressive, I want to give the maximum to these people. I hope the people are happy with me. From here I want to thank them for their support, as well as the president and the board. It has been a dream made real and I hope I will stay here many more years.”
Rakitic has played 145 games for Barcelona, scoring 23 goals. His contract takes him up to 33 years of age. “I hope to stay here all my life,” he said. “The idea is to be at the best club in the world for as long as possible, the time they want me here. What I have to do now is enjoy each day of training, of Barcelona. To go with a smile to training, enjoy the games on the pitch, that’s the best thing you can do.”
On Rakitic’s birthday he was given a cake, with the No 4 as the candle. Four for the four years he was signing on for, and also his shirt number at Barcelona.