Ivan Rakitic believes anything is possible for Croatia at the World Cup, but does next expect his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi to be nervous when Argentina face them in Russia.
Midfielder Rakitic and superstar forward Messi are set to go head to head in the second Group D game on June 21 in Nizhny Novgorod.
Croatia were one of the better teams to watch at Euro 2016 before losing to eventual winners Portugal in the round of 16, and boast a hugely talented squad including Rakitic, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Inter’s Ivan Perisic.
But Rakitic still does not see Messi being worried at the prospect of taking Croatia, jokingly telling Marca: “I do not think he gets nervous if I say ‘watch Croatia!’
“It’s the World Cup, you want to play against the best. And if it is against the best of all times, well better. That’s what a World Cup is for.”
Asked what Croatia can do at the World Cup, where they will also take on Iceland and Nigeria in the group stage, Rakitic added: “I wish a lot. I think we’ve been the strongest group of all. Croatia has never had so many players in so many important teams, playing and setting the pace.
“If we get through the group, I believe that everything is possible.”