We picked the Barcelona man to become a star back in November 2007. Check out that piece here.

Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona and Croatia

Welcome to our page focused on the Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. We will update you with news regarding the Croatian regularly but for now take a look at our Talent Scout report from November 2007.

Talent Scout (November 2007) 

Earlier this year Switzerland lost the services of one of Europe’s most promising players when midfielder Ivan Rakitic opted to play for Croatia, his parents’ homeland, rather than the country where he was born and brought up. And the youngster, who had played for the Swiss Under-16, 17 and 19 sides, was subjected to death threats because of his decision.

But Rakitic’s future with Croatia is bright.

Switch: Rakitic received death threats after deciding to play for Croatia, not Switzerland (Getty Images)

His finesse, penchant for spectacular goals and dead-ball expertise should help Slaven Bilic’s youthful and vibrant side reach new heights, starting with Euro 2008. The midfielder, a graduate of Basle’s youth system and named Switzerland’s young player of the 2006-07 season, had such big clubs as Barcelona and Milan lining up to sign him this summer.

But while Rakitic admits he was sorely tempted to head to Camp Nou or the San Siro, he and his agent decided, on reflection, that the wisest step was to sign with German outfit Schalke.

Related: Talent Scout Raphael Varane

On the face of it, the move ticked all the boxes. He would be playing at a higher standard in the Bundesliga, there was less danger of him falling victim to squad rotation and he spoke the language.

“Schalke are a massive club with a huge following and the ambition to fight for the league title and compete in the Champions League,” said Rakitic, who marked his debut for the Ruhr club with an equaliser of poise and flair away to champions Stuttgart in August.

Bold Call: Rakitic had interest from Barcelona and AC Milan, but instead went to Schalke (Getty Images)

“I know I’ve made a good choice of club, that I’ll learn and develop here.” German clubs do not have a history of splashing out on a whim, £2.9million in this case.

Schalke know they have a fine prospect in their midst, conspicuous both in talent and his blond hair.

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