Rakitic: I'm no Xavi

The Croatia international is flattered that he has been called the Spaniard's successor at Barcelona but insists that no player can replace the 34-year-old at the Camp Nou
Ivan Rakitic has welcomed comparisons to Barcelona stalwart Xavi but argues that it is impossible to replace the Spain international at Camp Nou.

The 26-year-old joined Barca from Sevilla earlier this summer, with some suggesting that the Croatian could be the perfect successor to the iconic midfielder, who has become the Blaugrana's new captain in his 17th season despite being linked with a move away this summer.

Xavi, now 34, has won seven Primera Division title and three Champions Leagues with the club and Rakitic is flattered by the comparison but is focused on making his own name in Catalunya.

"It's nice that people are saying that I am the successor of Xavi but I'm Rakitic. Replacements for such a great player like Xavi don't exist," he told Sportske Novosti.

"I can't wait to start the Primera [Liga]. We worked a lot [in pre-season] and I hope that this will show on the field. Barcelona are powerful again.

"I always wanted to join Barcelona. It was my desire."

Rakitic also revealed that Lionel Messi has helped him to adjust to life in Catalunya and is confident that fellow new signing Luis Suarez will hit the ground running when he returns to action in late October.

"Messi is no different from the others. He is very helpful. He offered me his assistance in finding an apartment or house in Barcelona," the Croatia star continued.

"It's not necessary to say about the qualities of Luis Suarez. It is important that he is with us at every practice."