Ivan Rakitic had an interview with the English newspaper Telegraph after the game against Denmark. He talked about the tournament, about the penalties in the Round of 16 and about the game against Russia on Saturday.
When asked about the moment before taking his penalty, he said:
” In that moment, a second felt like a whole hour. In that moment you wish that the light would go off and nobody would see you taking the penalty. ”
Rakitic had scored the final penalty and sent Croatia to the quarterfinal.
” I had a good feeling before the game. I talked with my wife before the start and she told me that I would score and win. I watched Schmeichel’s videos the whole day, I analyzed how he saves penalties, free kicks and how he moves. I even talked with Andrej Kramaric who played with him in Leicester to get to now Schmeichel better. After that I was more self-confident.”
As one of the most experienced player, Rakitic talked to the group before the penalty shootout:
” Before the penalty shootout we gathered on the field and I said to my teammates “Luka has saved us so many times, now it is time for us to help him and save him“. I told to Subasic “enjoy because this is your moment”. ”
This is what he said about the quarterfinal against Russia:
” We know that a stadium with thousands of Russians awaits us and that we have to play our best game yet. But, if someone told me before the tournament that we were going to play in a quarterfinal against Russia, i would ask him where do I need to sign. ”
Croatia and Russia will play this Saturday and the winner of this match will play against the winner of the match between Enland and Sweden.