With form and fitness issues to some of Slaven Bilic’s star men something of a concern in the months before the start of the Euro 2012 finals, Rakitic looks well placed to play an important role for Croatia this summer.
His family fled the troubles in Croatia when he was young and settled in Switzerland, where young Ivan was snapped up by FC Basel, before securing a big move to the German Bundesliga with Schalke in 2007. He has seen plenty of first team action since move to Spain in January 2011, though he has not always been a starter for Sevilla this season.
Rakitic’s upbringing in Switzerland meant he had the option to ply his international trade with an adopted country, but his rejected the offers from the Swiss FA in favour to fulfil his dream of pulling on the colourful Croatian journey.
A playmaker who has the class to create chances aplenty, this talented performer may have to take centre stage if Luka Modric’s alarming end of season dip in form with Tottenham continues into the Euro 2012 finals.