Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic reveals love for the Premier League
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic admits that he enjoys watching the Premier League and could imagine playing there in the future.
Rakitic, 27, has impressed since arriving at the Camp Nou from Sevilla in 2014 and helped Barcelona to the Treble last season with a series of fine performances in midfield.
The Croatian is enjoying life in Spain, but told the October 2015 issue of FourFourTwo magazine that he is also a big fan of the Premier League.
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"Of course, I like it very much," he said. "A lot of my friends are playing in the Premier League; it's a different style of football and I always enjoy playing in Europe against English teams. Maybe one day I can play there, too.
"I like a lot of the teams in the Premier League, but I don't really have one particular favourite -- there are many big clubs in England.
"I like the way they play, how every game is always intense and everybody lives for football. You can have a game like Crystal Palace vs. Stoke where both teams are strong, powerful, fully committed and the crowd are fully behind their team with great passion. That's great to see."
Rakitic could have moved to Chelsea from his first club FC Basel aged 16, but chose to stay and continue his career in Switzerland.
"I wanted to stay at home," he added of his chance to move to England. "I had a really special relationship with the president of Basel. It was much better for me to do pre-season with the first team there and then work my way gradually to the top, step by step.
"For me, that was the right way to progress. There was another guy in my situation, Jonas Elmer, who moved from Zurich to Chelsea at the age of 17. He ended up playing in the second division in Switzerland. Maybe that could've been me.
"I don't want to say it's always better to stay where you are in that situation, but my decision was to stay at home with my family and it worked well for me."