Ivan Rakitic believes Barcelona attackers Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are "the three best players in the world".
The Croatia international joined the Blaugrana from Sevilla this summer and is looking forward to teaming up with his illustrious team-mates when they return to training.
Messi and Neymar are expected to get back to Camp Nou early in August after taking part in the World Cup in Brazil, while Suarez is unavailable until October 26 due to his suspension for biting Giorgio Chiellini - pending the outcome of his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"Messi, Suarez and Neymar are the three best players in the world," Rakitic said at a press conference.
"We need to be close to them so that we can learn from them. We have to work together to be a strong team, a hard team.
"But the team isn’t made up of solely these three players; we all have our role to play. I’m really looking forward to when they join team, though."
The Croatia international then went on to voice his delight with Xavi's decison to remain at Barcelona for another season - despite interest from elsewhere in the services of the veteran midfielder.
"It’s great news that Xavi’s staying here," Rakitic enthused. "He’s a club symbol. It’s spectacular news and I’m so glad.
"I have never played with him before, but I’ve noticed how much he concentrates in training. As a younger player, I enjoy learning from people like him both on and off the pitch. It’s magnificent news."