Although Barcelona spent an archive €157 million on new talent last summer time, at one time where that cash made an appearance to possess been wasted, particularly following the team lost to Real Sociedad at the begining of The month of january. The resulting locker room troubles and also the rumored divide between Luis Enrique and Lionel Messi appeared to possess condemned the Catalans’ future.
Thankfully, Barcelona wound up getting a historic year because they grew to become the very first team to ever win the treble again. As I’m sure many Blaugrana supporters chosen over promote from inside via La Masia, It is reliable advice everybody was pleased with the outcomes in their treble-winning finish of last season.
But who had been the very best inclusion of that spend-happy transfer window? Claudio Bravo and Marc Andre Ter Stegen both demonstrated a good presence between your goal posts, showing an experienced veteran along with a rising star. Conventional knowledge would say Luis Suarez together with his €81 million cost-tag and the role in Barcelona’s vicious three pronged attack alongside Messi and Neymar. Especially after coming off a job-defining year at Liverpool, he appeared perfectly pleased to play a supporting role and let Messi function as the star.
However, I’ll argue the very best signing (or at best my personal favorite) from the 2014-15 season was Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian worldwide was somewhat silently purchased in Sevilla for any modest €18 million following a effective spell that led to two consecutive Europa League titles. Here’s a couple of explanations why.
1. A far more vertical attack
Rakitic immediately added a directness towards the Barcelona attack which had appeared missing the year before. In the past seasons, Barcelona’s famous Tiki-Taka style made an appearance to possess gone stale, with a lot of horizontal passing. Despite Messi leading the charge and adding Neymar, it had been obvious that Barcelona became quite foreseeable
2. Great lengthy passer
With Rakitic, Barcelona added among the best lengthy-ball passers on the planet. His capability to play in balls over the top defense in addition to take a risk from distance added some flavor for an attack which had become much less effective with time. Rakitic easily fit in perfectly into Barcelona’s style and, together with Suarez, added a significantly-needed verticality upfront.
3. Threat to attain creatively
Additionally to being one the very best lengthy-ball passers on the planet, Rakitic also demonstrated able to scoring from distance. An excellent example is first goal against BATE Borisov a week ago from just creatively. As the traditional Barça method to score is applying quick combinations within the final third and eventually pass the ball in to the goal, forcing the opponent’s back-line to respect the lengthy shot reveals much more spaces.
4. A non selfish attitude
Ivan’s his most significant quality is his tireless and non selfish effort to save the day. Within an interview with Sid Lowe, Rakitic spoke about playing behind Messi, Neymar, and Suarez, saying, “We press high to win the ball 20 metres from goal, not 50, so that they have a couple of players before them, rather of 5. You’re employed towards them. However that’s fine – if we must run 5,000 or 10,000 metres on their behalf, only then do we’ll get it done. There are numerous great players however, you have only one Leo and also you take care of him. Basically can enable them to play just a little better, perfect.”
Inside a footballing world where stars tend to be more frequently worried about achieving individual glory and padding their very own stats, Rakitic’s statement sticks out. It is primarily the kind of insufficient concern for themself that helped Barcelona win a treble and result in the MSN trident scoring an immediately legendary 122 goals within the 2014/15 season.
5. A complete bargain
A person of Rakitic’s calibre and experience purchased for €18 million is really a steal. The Croatian worldwide wound up playing 51 games in most competitions with 9 goals, 10 assists and numerous key passes. Additionally to his offensive prowess, he demonstrated to become a dynamic presence defensively, chasing lower loose balls within the midfield, a vital aspect to Barcelona’s possession based style. And who are able to forget his performance within the Champions League final make an impression on Juventus, where he place the eventual champions around the board first within the 4th minute?
By Jacob Rogers, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter @JacobRogersPC.