Ivan Rakitic reveals why he rejected Chelsea
Barcelona playmaker Ivan Rakitic has revealed that he rejected the chance to join Chelsea as a teenager. The former Basel starlet claims to have had a choice to join the Blues or Juventus, before electing to continue his development with the Swiss outfit.
“It was important for me to do it step by step,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “First of all to arrive in the first team in Switzerland because I had, at 16 years of age, a big offer to go to Chelsea. And another offer from Juventus and I decided to stay at home with my family.
“Then I first had to get into the Super League in Switzerland and after that the next step. At that time, when I was 15, 16, I decided it was important to have my family. It might not have been the best decision for everyone but it was the right one for me.
“Maybe when I decided to stay in Basel it might have been a bad decision but it was my decision. Or maybe I will go to Chelsea and my father would have said ‘no, stay at home’. It was important for me to say ‘the money is there but the money will come with time, also’.
There was another player like me and he went and today he is playing in the fourth division in Switzerland!” The 27-year-old is among those in contention for the Ballon d’Or in January after playing a key role in helping the Catalans clinch a treble success last season.
The Croatia international also scored in the Champions League final as Luis Enrique’s side followed up their Primera Liga and Copa del Rey glory with a 3-1 win over Juventus.