Barcelona and Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic has revealed that he was very close to being caught up in August’s Barcelona terrorist attacks. The attack in Catalonia nearly injured 130 people, taking 13 lives in the process.
It happened when a terrorist drove a van into the pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona’s City centre while a woman and six more were left injured later in a follow-up attack in the nearby Cambrils.
Three days after the attack, the Catalan side led by the former Spanish footballer Ernesto Valverde honoured the victims with a minute’s silence during the side’s opener against Real Betis.
The side also wore special one-off jerseys which were inscribed with #TotsSomBarcelona and did not include player names on the back.
The attack might have nearly killed the Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, with the 29-year-old in the within the radius of the incident. The Croatian was nearby the accident spot, with his family and also had planned to visit La Rambla before his wife decided against his decision.
Rakitic was three minutes away from the attack:
In an interview with Goal.com, the midfielder said: “During the recent terrorist attack in Barcelona I was very close.”
“I went downtown with my family and we prepared to go to that place the attack happened. I wanted to go there but my wife said it was a nice day and to let the kids play in the park outside our house. Thank God I listened to her.” added the Croatian midfielder.
The midfielder later went on to reveal that he was just minutes away from the attacks, and felt bad for all the people who were present in La Rambla at the time of the attack.
“We were three or four minutes away from going there. And as soon as people heard of the attack, many friends and family started to call me to check how we were.” added the 29-year-old.
The midfielder later went on to reveal that he avoids going downtown due to the massive fan-following of the club.
“Sometimes we avoid going downtown because FC Barcelona is everything for people here so it is impossible to ‘defend yourself’ from the fans. Photos, autographs… everywhere.” concluded the midfielder.