Ivan Rakitic believes he made the correct decision when he turned down a “big offer” to move to Chelsea as a teenager.
The former Sevilla midfielder joined Barca last summer, and helped the club to a Champions League trophy in his first season.
But at the start of his career, a 16-year-old Rakitic had the opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge before he made his debut at Swiss club Basel. The Croat rejected the approach, and now believes that decision has played a key role in shaping the success he has enjoyed so far.
“It was important for me to do it step by step,” Rakitic 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 league in Switzerland and after that the next step. At that time, when I was 15, 16, I decided it was more important to have my family. It might not have been the best decision for everyone but it was the right one for me.”