The Croatia international believes he can learn from the Spain midfielder and praised coach Luis Enrique's attention to detail
Xavi had been linked to a move away from Camp Nou this summer before making a U-turn and being named club captain.
Rakitic, who joined from Sevilla, had been seen as the successor to Xavi in the Barca midfield, but the Croatia star insists the two can work together in the team.
"The best news for me is knowing that Xavi is staying, so that I am able to learn from him and improve," Rakitic told El Pais. "But I'm here to play my football and improve the team.
"I have a different place in the plan of Barcelona. The most important thing is to always help out where the team is lacking.
"We all know the direction Barcelona are going in and I think they know what I can give. I can't dribble like Leo [Messi], I can't go as deep as Neymar, but Luis Enrique knows my game."
The 26-year-old also mentioned coach Luis Enrique, saying he is more demanding than he expected.
"He has clear ideas. He leaves no doubts and overlooks nothing. There are details that don't seem important, yet he sees them as key details."