Rakitic: Guardiola is why I wear number 4 shirt

MADRID, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic will be a key player when FC Barcelona entertain Manchester City in the Camp Nou Stadium on Wednesday night in what promises to be the most interesting game of this week's round of Champions League matches.

The game sees the return of former Barca coach Pep Guardiola to the Camp Nou and speaking in an interview with 'the Times', Rakitic said Guardiola was one of the reasons he had opted to join Barca from Sevilla, adding that he had asked to wear the number 4 shirt Guardiola had worn.

"I wasn't at Barca when he was the coach, but when I came I asked for the number 4 because it was his number. It was really special for me," explained Rakitic.

Rakitic praised his Barca team-mates, singling out Spaininternational Andres Iniesta. "I always feel Iniesta is dancing on the pitch. It' s like when you hear classical music. Every step, he's dancing with the ball," he said.

The midfielder also discussed the attacking trio of Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, tipping the Brazilian to one day become the best player in the World.

"They're really hungry and they want to score all of the time. Leo (Messi) has won everything but wants it again and he is the best in the world, but Neymar will be the next Messi for sure."

"It would be the best thing Barca could do to sign a new contract with him and maybe they can put the buyout clause as high as possible, because he's only 24. He's really special," explained Rakitic.

Finally he discussed Suarez, saying the Uruguayan's years with Liverpool were where he made the change from being a "a good player to be the best striker in the world and then take the next step to Barcelona."

"When he's not playing, it feels something's wrong. Luis is one of our most important players," he concluded.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]


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