With Barça’s Club World Cup success, Ivan Rakitic has now won every international club competition

Rakitic with the World Club Cup in Yokohama / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
With Barça’s Club World Cup success, the Croatian midfielder adds yet another trophy to his collection

Following FC Barcelona’s Club World Cup win on Sunday, Ivan Rakitic has now won every international club competition.

The Croatian midfielder won the Europa League with Sevilla in 2014, followed by the Champions League last season at the end of his first campaign with Barça. The win over Juventus in Berlin handed Rakitic the chance to claim the European Super Cup which he lost with Sevilla the previous year, against his old club, which he and Barça managed in a dramatic 5-4 win.

The Club World Cup was the last international club trophy left for Rakitic to complete the set, and succeeded in doing so with a 3-0 win over River Plate.

It has been a hugely successful year for the 27-year-old who, as well as winning five titles with his team, was recently named Croatian Footballer of the Year.

 

Rakitic’s honours
CLUB Trophy YEAR
     Swiss Cup 2007
   DFB-Pokal (German Cup) 2011
       Europa League 2014
               La Liga
2015
            Copa del Rey 2015
     Champions League 2015
   European Super Cup
2015
      Club World Cup
2015

Koshiro Yamashita, the Japanese voice of the FC Barcelona anthem

Koshiro Yamashita / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The eight-year-old boy, on hand at Barça’s first training session since arriving in Japan, sang the complete Barça anthem a capella in front of the players, staff, directors, the press and his classmates from the FCBEscola Futsushika

While it was nine years ago that Leo Miyagata became a global phenomenon after being recorded while breaking down in tears after the FC Barcelona’s defeat in the final of the 2006 Club World Cup, which was also held in Japan, a similar phenomenon emerged this Monday during Barça’s very first training session since arriving in Japan earlier in the morning.

Koshiro Yamashita, an eight-year-old Japanese boy, wowed everyone — and we do mean everyone — as he sang the entire Barça anthem a capella for the Barça players, the coaching staff, the Club’s travelling expedition and the press.

Yamashita, one of the more than 240 children from the FCBEscola Futsushika who attended Monday’s training session, was duly applauded by everyone on hand to witness the stunning rendition of the Club’s anthem.

Following the performance, Yamashita was presented with an FC Barcelona badge from the Club’s Vice President, Jordi Cardoner.

Messi, Iniesta, Sergio, Piqué and Alves, three time Club World Cup champions

Messi, Iniesta, Sergio, Alves and Piqué: the three time winners / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The five Barça players have all played a vital part in the three victories in the tournament and no-one has won the competition more than them

FC Barcelona’s victory over River Plate in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup was yet another example of the Club’s domination on the international stage. Barça can now boast three Club World Cup trophies in the last six years: the victory in 2009 in Abu Dhabi over Estudiantes, the triumph in Yokohama in 2011 over Santos and the most recent win, also in Yokohama, over their Argentine opponents.

Five members of the current squad have taken part in all three of those campaigns: Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Dani Alves, Sergio Busquets and Leo Messi, a feat that is unique to this magnificent quintet.

Leo Messi, of course, has had an important role in all three finals, having found the net in each one. Against Estudiantes in 2009, the Barça striker found the net in extra time, famously chesting the ball home to give his side a 2-1 victory over the Argentines. In the final in 2011 against Santos, Messi scored not once but twice in the 4-0 win.

Finally, this year, in the final in Yokohama it was the Barça number ‘10’ who opened the scoring in the 3-0 triumph over River Plate. Messi now has five goals in the tournament and leads the all-time ranking alongside his team mate Luis Suárez and César Delgado, the former Monterrey player.

The contribution of Piqué, Iniesta, Alves and Sergio Busquets has been no less significant. All four have started every final in the competition with the exception of Iniesta in 2009 against Estudiantes. The midfielder did feature in the semi-final against Mexican side Atlante, a game in which Sergio Busquets scored the goal that brought Barça back on level terms.

The Club World Cup champions are back in Barcelona

Neymar on the flight back from Japan / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
After a flight of more than 15 hours from Tokyo, the Barça expedition landed at 5.40pm CET at El Prat Airport in Barcelona

The FC Barcelona party arrived at 5.40pm at Barcelona Airport following a 15 hour flight from Tokyo. Due to a fierce headwind, the flight came in later than expected initially. All the party, with the exception of Gerard Piqué and Arda Turan who with permission from the Club began their holidays independently, disembarked at El Prat Airport.

When they were just an hour away from Barcelona, the four captains, Andrés Iniesta, Leo Messi, Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano, the president Josep Maria Bartomeu, the sporting vice-president Jordi Mestre and the technical secretary Robert Fernández all posed for the media with the Cup claimed in Japan.

As they touched down at the airport, the Club anthem was played via the PA, a moment to bring to a close a long but successful expedition than has seen the blaugranes claim their fifth trophy of the year. Now, it is time to enjoy a few days respite before the return of league action on 30 December at Camp Nou against Real Betis.