Croatia Lose Rakitic For England Clash

Barcelona’s Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic runs during the Spanish League “Clasico”. Photo: JAVIER SORIANO / AFP


Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic has returned to Barcelona with a hamstring strain and will miss the Nations League match against England on Sunday, the club said.

Rakitic suffered the injury in the World Cup finalists’ 3-2 win against Spain on Thursday.

Barcelona said he had suffered “a strained hamstring in his right leg”.

The club gave no timescale for his recovery but Spanish press reports said he could be out for up to three weeks which could mean he misses the Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on November 24 and a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven four days later.

A win for Croatia over the side they beat to reach the World Cup final would take Zlatko Dalic’s men to the semi-finals of the Nations League and send England down to League B.

If England win, they will win the group and progress to the finals of the new competition — which offers the chance of qualification for Euro 2020 — and relegate Croatia.

A draw would hand Spain first place in the group. If its goalless, Croatia would be relegated but a score draw would leave England in last place.


Barcelona Not Allowed To Sign Any Players In 2015

_69851648_messi_getty1Barcelona will not be allowed to sign any players in 2015 after their appeal against a transfer ban was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said that  its appeals panel found no grounds to overturn a FIFA sanction preventing Barcelona from registering any new players for the period of two transfer windows.

The Spanish club was handed a 14-month ban in April after being found guilty of breaching FIFA’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18.

FIFA rejected an appeal in August but the pending appeal to CAS allowed Barca to sign players including Luis Suarez.

A Barcelona statement added: “The errors that the club might have committed, and which have been recognised and argued before the corresponding authorities, are, in all cases, of an administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the FIFA regulations and Spanish legislation, along with the club’s conviction that it was acting correctly.

“Therefore, FC Barcelona considers the sanction to be completely disproportionate as it supposes an excessive punishment for the club, when considering its trajectory and the circumstances of this specific case.”

Barcelona must also pay a fine of 300,000 pounds while the verdict has been published by CAS without written reasons, due to the need to reach a decision before the start of the January transfer window.

Barcelona went on a summer spending spree this year while the suspension went on hold during the appeals process, splashing out more than 150m euros (£117.5m) on Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu and Alen Halilovic.

FC Barcelona To Present Ivan Rakitic On July 1

Ivan_RakitićIvan Rakitic will officially become an FC Barcelona player in the coming week.

Since Croatia are out of the World Cup in Brazil, the midfielder is free to travel to Barcelona and finalise the arrangements with his new club.

According to information on the Barcelona FC website, Rakitic would be posing for the traditional picture outside the club offices on Monday at 6.00 PM CET.

The day after, Tuesday, he will be taking routine medical tests at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Then at 11.15 AM CET, he’ll sign his new contract in the Camp Nou presidential lounge, and at around noon he’ll be appearing on the pitch in his new kit.

The final stop will be the Ricard Maxenchs pressroom, where he is due to give a press conference at 12.45 PM CET, which will be broadcast live on Barça TV as well as being streamed on the FC Barcelona website with an English translation.

It was officially announced on Monday 16 June that Croatian international Ivan Rakitic would be joining FC Barcelona for the next five seasons.

Ivan Rakitić (born 10 March 1988) is a Croatian footballer who, until his transfer, played for Spanish club Sevilla, as a central or attacking midfielder.

Rakitić started his professional career at FC Basel and spent two seasons with them before he was signed by Schalke 04. After spending three and a half seasons in the German Bundesliga, he was signed by Sevilla in January 2011. Two years later, Rakitić was confirmed as the club captain and captained the team to UEFA Europa League triumph.

On the international level, Rakitić plays for the Croatia national team. Although naturally a product of Switzerland’s youth level, Rakitić pledged his international career to his native parentage of Croatia instead. He made his debut for Croatia in 2007 and has since represented the country at UEFA Euro 2008 and UEFA Euro 2012.