Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic says he would love to play under Pep Guardiola before his career is over.
The Croatian is widely regarded as being one of the game’s finest midfielders and since his arrival at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014, his reputation has been enhanced.
He’s become a key player for the La Liga giants and has also demonstrated his consistency on the international stage, impressing at this summer’s European Championships.
And he says Guardiola is his footballing idol and admitted playing under him appeals greatly.
“When I took the No. 4 jersey [at Barcelona], it was because of him. When I saw the opportunity to play No. 4, I took it with both hands. He was one of the best in the world.
“He’s fantastic and I hope he is really happy and successful in the future…but not tomorrow!
“It would be fantastic to work with him one day.”
He missed the first game with Barcelona in the Nou Camp, with Guardiola deciding to pack the midfield in an attempt to dominate possession.
But Rakitic says the Argentine is one of the best in world football – and admits he is keeping his fingers crossed he has an off day.
“We know Aguero is one of the best strikers in the world,” he said. “We hope the goals he scored in the last game will be the last for a few days.
“It will be hard for us. We hope Sergio had a good day this weekend and tomorrow he can go easy and wait for the next game.”