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Rakitic: I’m playing the best football of my career

by Heath Chesters | Posted on Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic feels he’s at the peak of his performances, but will not yet reveal if he’s going to accept new contract terms with the Andaluz club, ahead of this weekend’s derby with Real Betis.

Ivan Rakitic

At a press call on Thursday, Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic was asked if he’s any further along with contract negotiation renewals at Sevilla.

“The club offered me an extension of my contract two weeks a go, for which there’s currently a year and a half left. I feel the confidence of the president and of the sporting director and I feel comfortable with everyone at the club. What I want to do right now though, is concentrate on my football and the derby against Betis. I’ll make a decision when the time is right, but as I’ve said before, I’m really happy at Sevilla, especially as my wife Raquel is from the city.”

Asked how he views his performances, Rakitic was more than confident of his form this season: “I’m playing the best football of my career.”

Having secured his passage to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil with Croatia, Rakitic admitted that the journey to and from Iceland had been tiring, but also highlighted that as soon as that game was over, he only had thoughts of the Sevilla v Real Betis derby.

“I was a little tired when I got back and a little affected, because in Iceland it’s really cold, but I’m enthusiastic and looking forward to the game. Your state of mind changes as soon as the referee blows the final whistle. I’ve been thinking of the derby since the final whistle in Iceland, just thinking of Sunday and about winning.”

Rakitic also has fond memories of the 5-1 victory Sevilla enjoyed against Real Betis last season, recalling the joyous celebration of their fans, but this time, there’s an added personal motivation that the player was keen to explain.

“I couldn’t sleep with all the partying, listening to the people outside the hotel, so needless to say, it motivates you a lot and I see it as something special. How the Sevilla fans live this derby is something special, it’s something unique in the world. It’s not a pressure, but it makes you want to have the last word, because the fans also want you to win the derby. It’s going to be the first derby for my daughter and we have to get off to a good start by winning it. If I can also offer something to the team afterwards, then perfect, but it’s all the same to me, the most important thing is that we win and in ten or fifteen years time, I can say to my daughter, this first derby was for you.”


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