Ivan Rakitic, the secret behind the Messi-Alves connection


Ivan Rakitic has excelled in his first season at the Camp Nou, with an impressive total of 50 appearances under his belt as he established himself as a key member of the starting XI. Like the rest of his teammates, Rakitic spent the first third of the season trying to work out what Luis Enrique expected from him. With the new manager fielding a different lineup every week, a general feeling of discomfort amongst his players was unavoidable.

Such confusion was never more obvious that when Barca travelled to the Santiago Bernabeu in late October to face Real Madrid. Despite having been trusted as a regular starter, Rakitic was relegated to the bench as Xavi started.

Read my full opinion column for ESPN "After Ivan Rakitic embraced his Barcelona role, success followed" here.

It's your turn

What do you think? How has Rakitic impacted Barcelona's game? Would you consider Rakitic a worthy replacement of Cesc Fabregas? I'd love to hear your views. Share your thoughts with our fellow Blaugranas in the comment box below.