Our 2018 World Cup WAG series continues on to the knockout stage as today we are featuring Raquel Mauri, wife of Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Raquel and Ivan started dating in 2011 and married in 2013 while he was playing for Sevilla FC. Ivan actually wrote about their “Hollywood” story in a piece for The Players’ Tribune, in which he details how he fell in love with a girl working at a hotel bar in Spain and asked her out “20 or 30 times” before breaking down the wall.
The next day, I signed my contract with Seville, and I lived in that hotel for three months while I searched for a house. So every single morning, I went to the hotel bar for a coffee and an orange Fanta so that I could see the beautiful waitress.
All I knew was that her name was Raquel. She didn’t speak any English, and I didn’t speak any Spanish. So every single day …
“Buenos días, Raquel. Un café y un Fanta naranja.”
I don’t know how to explain it. Sometimes, you meet someone and you just have a different feeling. Whenever I saw her, it was like a bomb went off inside me. Week after week, I slowly started to learn some Spanish words, and if I was struggling, I would use my hands a lot to try to explain what I was trying to say to her.
She thought that was funny. She was like, “Me … Jane. You … Tarzan.”
I was drinking so much coffee it was ridiculous.
I probably asked her out 20 or 30 times.
How did Ivan finally breakthrough? He had a source at the restaurant who alerted him one day Raquel was drinking at the bar with her sister, not working. He made his move and the rest his history for them. They’ve now been married for five years and have two daughters.
Ivan, 30, is playing in his second World Cup with Croatia. Clubwise, he left Seville in 2014 and has since been playing for Barcelona. He scored his second career WC goal in the group stage against Argentina.