Barcelona forward Ivan Rakitic has revealed he turned down Chelsea when he was a teenager.
European giants Chelsea and Juventus were interested in the midfielder when he was 16 but the midfielder turned down a move to England or Italy and preferred to stay with his family at Switzerland.
The midfielder stayed with FC Basel and later moved to Schalke and then Sevilla. The player impressed at Sevilla and was snapped up by Barcelona.
“It was important for me to do it step by step. First of all to arrive in the first-team in Switzerland because I had at 16 years of age, a big offer to go to Chelsea. And another offer from Juventus.
“At that time, when I was 15, 16, I decided it was important to have my family. It might not have been the best decision for everyone but it was the right one for me.
“It was important for me to say ‘the money is there but the money will come with time, also’. There was another player like me and he went and today he is playing in the fourth division in Switzerland.”
The Croatian is now a big part of the Barcelona team that won the treble last season and he is an important member of the team. His career might have taken a whole different path had he joined Chelsea or Juventus at a younger age.Follow Football News Arena on Facebook and Twitter for the latest transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours from across the major Leagues in Europe and around the World.