Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic says fellow Croatia international Marko Pjaca will be in safe hands after joining Schalke on a six-month loan deal from Juventus.

“Schalke are one of the best 3-4 teams in Germany and, at an organizational level, one of the best in Europe,” Rakitic told 24sata. “The fans are fantastic and Marko will play at one of the best stadiums in the world. He’ll be impressed.”

Watch: Take a tour of Schalke’s Veltins Arena

Rakitic should know. The 88-time Croatia international made 135 appearances in all competitions over the course of a four-year stint with Schalke, winning the DFB Cup in his final season at the club before leaving for Sevilla in summer 2011.

“I know the Schalke fans have high expectations of him, but Schalke have a great young coach in Domenico Tedesco and are having a great season,” the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League winner continued. “He’s made a good choice.”

Pjaca, who played alongside Rakitic at UEFA EURO 2016, has already linked up with his new Schalke teammates at their training camp in Benidorm and could make his Bundesliga debut when the Royal Blues – second in the standings after 17 matches – visit RB Leipzig in their first competitive outing of the year on 13 January.

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