Croatian midfielder, Ivan Rakitic has emerged the winner of the 9th edition of the Barcelona best player.
Rakitic was part of the Croatia team that reached the final of the Russia 2018 World Cup and also played a vital role as Barca won the double last season.
He beat off competition from team captain, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto and Marc Andre Ter Stegen to win the award.
According to a statement on the club official website, club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Group president, Ramon Alfonseda presented the award to Rakitic in Sala Roma at the Camp Nou.
Bartomeu while speaking said the club will remain grateful to the Croatian for his contributions. “We will always be grateful to Ivan for his personal decision to come to Barça.
“He does so much for the team and club. It’s not easy to play here. There are high demands for every game and in every competition. He has won everything at Barça and I’m so happy that he has wanted to stay here.”
Speaking after receiving the award, the midfielder said, “It’s an honour to win this award. It will be given pride of place at home.
“There is nothing nicer than being at the best club in the world. I feel very fortunate to be able to defend this badge.
On the team’s current situation and their trip to Valencia on Sunday, he said, “we are especially looking forward to Sunday’s game at Mestalla after working so hard at Wembley. It won’t be easy because there are no easy games in La Liga, but we need to recover our strength for this one.”
He described his magnificent volleyed goal against Spurs on Wednesday as “one of the best I have ever scored, even more so because it was our second on the way to beating one of the best teams in Europe. I’ll never forget that goal.”
The vote for the Barca best player of the season is decided by the players and the award started in 2010.
A jury then decided who would receive the trophy, and the 2018 World Cup finalist was chosen in light of his prudence, humility and down-to-earth nature, as well as the way he has adapted to the club and its culture.
The statement from the club further added that there was also an awards ceremony for José Antonio Zaldúa, the Barça of the 1960s who died last June 30.
Past Barça Players Award Winners
Bojan Krkic (2009-10)
Andrés Iniesta (2010-11)
Xavi Hernández (2011-12 and 2012-13)
Carles Puyol (2013-14)
Javier Mascherano (2014-15)
Leo Messi (2015-16)
Sergi Roberto (2016-17)
Ivan Rakitic (2017-18)