Ivan Rakitic reveals Cristiano Ronaldo had urged him to join Juventus in the summer of 2019, but Barcelona’s €50m asking price scuppered the deal.
The incident was outlined when Rakitic spoke to 24sata about the path his career could’ve taken towards Turin.
“In the summer of 2019, Cristiano called me personally to suggest I go to Juve,” said the Croatia international.
“He told me that the club wanted me too, but the transfer didn’t go through. Barcelona were asking for €50m and it was too much.”
Instead, stayed for one more year, joining Sevilla for just €1.5m in September 2020.
Having played with Lionel Messi, Rakitic was also eager to play with another of the names who dominated the football landscape and the Ballon d’Or race over the last decade, having clashed repeatedly with CR7 during El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“Ronaldo is one of the greatest of all time. You really enjoy watching him and what he’s doing at Juventus.”
Rakitic represented FC Basel, Schalke 04, Sevilla and Barcelona in his club career, returning to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium for a minimal fee in 2020.
He had already represented the Liga side from January 2011 to the summer of 2014.
Now aged 33, Rakitic has 106 senior caps for Croatia under his belt, scoring 15 goals.