Busquets and Rakitic took part in a press conference in San Fransisco with both players expressing their hunger for more trophies and the former speaking on Pedro’s current situation at Barca
After the team arrived at San Fransisco, midfielders Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic gave a press conference.
Busquets spoke on Barca’s 2-1 win against LA Galaxy and also expressed his love for the US Major League Soccer.
“In the pre-season results aren’t important, but we were great defensively and lacked effectiveness in attack [in the game against LA Galaxy].”
“Barça’s brand is growing in the USA and I really like the MLS.”
Busquets also spoke on Pedro’s current situation linking him with a move away from the Camp Nou and he hopes the striker continues at Barca.
“I spoke to Pedro but I won’t say what he told me. I understand he has doubts because he wants to play.”
“I hope Pedro can stay. It’s what I would like but it is his decision.”
The defensive midfielder also spoke on the influence of Xavi’s departure on his role at Barca but that he’s ready for the challenge.
“It is clear that with the departure of Xavi, I have to take a step forward. It is a responsibility and I’m proud of it. I think I can live up to that challenge because I’ve worked hard to get to where I am today.”
“I miss Xavi a lot. I already did at Spain. He’s a leader, a real captain. Both on and off the pitch, you’ll always feel he’s not there.”
On Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola: “[Pep] Guardiola and Luis Enrique are similar. They both understand football and they know the club very well.”
Busquets also said Barcelona are in the hunt for the Sextuplet and will want to become the first club to win back-to-back UCL titles.
“Winning the CL two seasons in a row? Our goal is to keep on making history. But before that, we have the Sextuple.”
Prior to the game against Manchester United on Saturday, Busquets admitted Barca will be facing a good team and also expressed his desire to play against the Reds at Old Trafford.
“I would like to play against Man United at Old Trafford. But so far I’ve only faced them in finals.”
“Man United is a great club but they’re still a bit under construction. They’re a rival to be reckoned with but they need time.”
On the adaptation of his compatriot Alen Halilovic who had a nervous game against LA Galaxy, Rakitic believed the youngster still needs to grow as a player.
“[Alen] Halilovic is still very young and what he needs is to grow as a person and player. It’s not easy for him.”
Rakitic went on to state that Barcelona want to achieve more than they did last season and are working towards perfection.
“You always want to improve. Last season was almost perfect. Now we want it to be perfect not near-perfect.”
Just like Busquets, Rakitic also expressed his sadness on the departure of Xavi saying he would have loved to play alongside the midfielder for a longer period.
“I would have liked to be with Xavi longer. He was the captain, a man everywhere. He’s not here but what he left behind will follow.”
Rakitic was impressed with the US fans and expressed his amazement at the experience he got in the game against LA Galaxy.
“I’m amazed at the people here. I feel fortunate. It was amazing what we experienced at the Rose Bowl.”
The midfielder went on to talk about Barca’s Uefa Super Cup game against Sevilla next month and he admitted it won’t be an easy fixture.
“Super Cup vs Sevilla? They (Sevilla) have reinforced very well and taken a step forward. It’ll be difficult but we want to win that title.”
Back to Halilovic, Rakitic spoke on the star’s future at Barca claiming he isn’t aware of his decision.
“I don’t know what will happen with Halilović. I think he wants to talk to the club and find a solution.”