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Rakitic: I am not replacing anyone
Jun 30, 2014 12:43 PM EST
Ivan Rakitic is keen to employ his own style at new club Barcelona and dismissed suggestions he is a replacement for Xavi and Cesc Fabregas.
Barcelona announced the purchase of the Croatia international on a five-year deal earlier this month, bringing an end to his three-year stay with Sevilla.
The Catalan side are in the process of rebuilding their first team under new coach Luis Enrique after a poor campaign last time out led to Gerardo Martino losing his job.
Fabregas has already departed Camp Nou to link up with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, while club legend Xavi is widely expected to end his lengthy association with the team.
Rakitic, however, dismissed the notion that he would be replacing the midfield duo, and wants to become a star in his own right for the club.
"I'm not replacing anyone," Rakitic said. "I'm Ivan Rakitic.
"I'll do it my way, I'm going to Barcelona to be Rakitic and I want to give my best football. I'm going to work hard every day to my fullest."
An emotional Rakitic was speaking at a press conference in a farewell address to Sevilla, and admitted it was difficult to be departing a club he holds in such high regard, while insisting he never forced his exit.
"I did not think it would be so painful to say goodbye to Sevilla," he added. "This is the first time my wife has seen me cry.
"I have no regrets, I've always been open. I never forced my way out. Either (we) did it together or we did not."