Antic: Rakitic adds a new dimension to Barcelona

The experienced coach feels the former Sevilla midfielder will prove to be a fine addition and has questioned Atletico Madrid's title credentials.
Former Barcelona coach Radomir Antic has taken the time to praise Ivan Rakitic and believes the Croatia international adds something different to the Catalans.

The 26-year-old joined Barcelona from Sevilla this summer and Antic thinks former Basel youngster's long-range shots could prove to be a valuable weapon for the Camp Nou side in the race for the Primera Division title.

MORE: Ronaldo ice bucket challenge | Pitch invader's free kick | WAGs

"Rakitic brings something new to the team that we have not seen at Barcelona for quite some time: shots from long range," Antic told Cope.

The 65-year-old, who also coached Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid throughout his career, says he expects some sides to struggle in the aftermath of the World Cup and has questioned whether the reigning Liga champion can fight for the title again.

"The season after a World Cup is always a bit complicated, because players await demanding games without much preparation [due to extended holidays]," he continued. "I don't know whether Atletico can challenge for the title again. There have been a lot of changes and they have lost their focal point in attack. His replacement has different characteristics."

Atletico brought in Mario Mandzukic to replace Diego Costa, while the club also signed players such as Antoine Griezmann, Jan Oblak and Cristian Ansaldi to bolster the squad.