Ivan Rakitić (4) has scored some big-time goals for the world's most popular team, and he's making a big-time appearance in Des Moines.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, May 26, 2017 – FC Barcelona star Ivan Rakitić will visit Des Moines in June.
The FC Barcelona midfielder will make a highly anticipated appearance hosted by the Des Moines Menace, in partnership with Elite Soccer Experiences. Oberto Brands is the presenting sponsor.
Soccer players ages 7-19 are invited to a June 16-17 camp with Rakitić. Click here to sign up today; space is limited and spots will fill up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Participants will receive a camp jersey, provided by Soccer Master.
Fans are invited to meet Rakitić on June 17 during the Menace’s Premier Development League home match against rival Thunder Bay at Valley Stadium. Click here to reserve your V.I.P. experience, including your admission, an autograph and a personal photograph.
“Barcelona has a fantastic following here in Iowa, and we are thrilled to welcome Rakitić to Des Moines,” said Menace general manager Matt Homonoff. “Events like these don’t happen without support from our community and corporate partners. Thanks to Oberto Brands and Soccer Master for helping make his visit a reality.”
Related Link: Your guide to Rakitić's visit
A 29-year-old midfielder, Rakitić is one of the rising stars in the game. He scored a massive goal in the 73rd minute in Barcelona’s 3-2 win against rival Real Madrid in El Classico on April 23.. His powerful shot and attacking brilliance have increased his goalscoring since his entry into Spanish football in 2011.
His professional career began when he was 17, and he won the Swiss Cup with Basel the next season, when he earned Best Young Player of the Swiss Superleague for the 2006-2007 campaign.
Rakitić joined Barcelona in the summer of 2014. In his career with Barcelona, he has scored 18 goals – including one that helped Barça to its fifth Champions League title on June 6, 2015 when the team won 3-1 over Juventus.
Of all the sports teams in the world, Barça has the largest social-media following, with more than 100 million likes on Facebook and more than 21 million followers of @FCBarcelona on Twitter. @ivanrakitic has 672,000 Twitter followers.
With dual nationality, Rakitić also represents Croatia at the international level. He is scheduled to play for the Croatian national team in a World Cup qualifying match versus Iceland on June 11, the same week as his Des Moines appearance.
In early April, the Menace announced plans for a June appearance by FC Barcelona’s Rafinha. Unfortunately, a season-ending injury has prevented the Brazilian star from coming. Fortunately, his teammate, Rakitić, is excited to visit our community.
The last time the Menace hosted a household-name soccer star – Freddy Adu in June 2004 – the team drew a standing-room-only crowd that set the franchise (and league) record for single-game attendance.
Our goal is to host more than 6,000 fans on June 17th. Help us set our new attendance record and be part of this memorable night by purchasing advance tickets, to be mailed to you before the big day.
MORE ABOUT RAKITIĆ
- Born March 10, 1988 in Rheinfelden, Switzerland.
- Wears No. 4 for FC Barcelona.
- Scored nine goals in the 2016-2017 season.
- Won La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League in his first season with Barcelona (2014).
- Began his professional career with two seasons at Basel before heading to Germany to play with Schalke 04. Signed with Sevilla in 2011.
- Named Man of the Match in the 2014 Europa League 2014 final when he played for Sevilla.
- Has represented Croatia at UEFA Euro 2008, UEFA Euro 2012, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 24th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Entering its sixth season, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family-fun entertainment. The Menace organization provides the growth of the game of soccer in Iowa with their youth soccer programs, including Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Youth Academy (ages six and older), and tournaments, camps and clinics.