‘I need to play, not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach’: Ivan Rakitic admits he’s losing patience with Barcelona bench role after playing just 187 minutes this season

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted his frustration at a lack of playing time this season. 

The 31-year-old, who was a regular in Ernseto Valverde’s starting XI last season, has made six of his seven appearances from the bench as the manager has opted to start summer-signing Frenkie de Jong.   

Currently on international duty with Croatia, Rakitic said he is desperate to play but may look at other options come January if his time on the pitch doesn’t improve. 

Ivan Rakitic has been confined to a place on the bench at the start of the season for Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic has been confined to a place on the bench at the start of the season for Barcelona 

The 31-year-old is eager to play but boss Ernesto Valverde (R) has preferred Frenkie de Jong

The 31-year-old is eager to play but boss Ernesto Valverde (R) has preferred Frenkie de Jong 

‘It’s tough because I want to play and not just be part of the team,’ Rakitic told Crotaian media outlet 24sata. 

‘I will do everything possible to change my situation. I have two years left on my deal and there’s no better place to play than Barcelona.

‘It’s the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach.’ 

In the summer, Serie A champions Juventus were interested in Rakitic, with Cristiano Ronaldo even calling the Croatian to convince him to make the move to Italy, but Juve could not match Barcelona’s asking price.  

Rakitic has made 274 appearances and scored 34 goals during five years at the Camp Nou

Rakitic has made 274 appearances and scored 34 goals during five years at the Camp Nou 

Rakitic, who joined Barca from Sevilla in 2014, added that he has spoken to president Josep Bartomeu and captain Lionel Messi about his prospects.

‘I spoke with people at the club everyone knew I had other options. I want to fight so that the team see me ready to deliver on the pitch.

‘I want to thank the fans for the affection they showed me this weekend, but if nothing changed, we will have to sit down and talk about my situation again.’  

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