Ivan Rakitic’s injury has opened a debate over the club’s use of the Croatian player. Like Luis Enrique, Ernesto Valverde has shown his confidence in the midfielder from the start, playing him whenever he can. In the last two years only on three occasions has Rakitic been left out of the squad and two of them were Copa del Rey games.
The 30-year-old is not used to having any rest. That’s why Valverde was so against the move to PSG for 90m euros that was on the table in the summer. The club debated whether or not to sell him and Rakitic was unsure because of the huge deal he was being offered, Valverde at no moment wanted to let him go.
In that moment Valverde arrived at the ‘PSG pact’, as it is known at the club.
A deal between coach and player to prevent him leaving and, at the same time, ensure he is omnipresent in the coach’s side. Valverde is committed to keep believing blindly in the Croatian, giving him the same treatment he has enjoyed so far, in exchange for him not leaving to PSG.
The PSG pact is known at the club to be the reasons Rakitic has been used so much - which may have contributed to his injury risk increasing.