Ivan Rakitic: Barcelona's new signing says move 'a step forward'

Ivan Rakitic
Rakitic scored 15 goals for Sevilla last season

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic says joining Barcelona is "a step forward" in his career.

The 26-year-old agreed to move to the Nou Camp from Sevilla in June and has signed a five-year deal.

Rakitic, who started each of Croatia's World Cup games, scored 15 goals last season and also captained Sevilla to Europa League success against Benfica.

"I wanted to leave Seville on good terms and take a step forward in my career. Now it's down to me," he said.

"Last season's Europa League really whetted my appetite. I want to make history. I want more. I'm hungry for success."

The transfer fee is undisclosed, but Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez, 20, who joined from Manchester City in August, will be loaned to the Andalusian club for two seasons as part of the deal.

Swiss-born Rakitic, who has won 64 caps for Croatia, will follow former Barcelona captain and coach Pep Guardiola by wearing the number four shirt.

After joining Sevilla from German side Schalke in January 2011, Rakitic made 149 appearances and scored 32 goals.

The central midfielder, who also provided 17 assists last season, netted in Sevilla's 3-2 defeat at the Nou Camp last September.

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