Rakitic: I wanted to play for Croatia

A calf injury has kept the midfielder out of his country's friendlies against Isreal and Hungary, but he should be fine for the Clasico at the beginning of April

Ivan Rakitic said he held talks with the team doctor to play in Croatia's upcoming friendlies, but he ended up being convinced his health was more important. 

The Barcelona midfielder underwent an MRI scan for his calf injury but the results determined he will miss the friendly against Israel on Wednesday and Hungary three days later.

Rakitic said he spoke with the Croatia team doctor, but it was better for him to sit out than risk aggravating the injury.

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"I wanted to play, but unfortunately injury will not allow it," the 28-year-old said. 

"I had a chat to the doctor because I wanted to play. I asked him if he would let me, but he convinced me my health was more important.

"But those playing for the national team always try to do their best. 

"Do not doubt us, we will do our best, we will try everything we can to win [Euro 2016] in France."

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