Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde reportedly made a 'pact' with Ivan Rakitic, which ensures that the Croatian midfielder will start every match for the Blaugrana.
The agreement was made to prevent Rakitic from joining Paris Saint-Germain for £80m last summer. The move would have seen a significant increase in Rakitic's wages, but Valverde was determined to keep him at the Nou Camp.
Since making the agreement, Rakitic has started all but one of Barcelona's La Liga fixtures and all four of their Champions League group games. The only game in which he didn't feature was the Copa del Rey tie against Cultural Leonesa.
Having appeared in 34 of Barcelona's 38 league matches last season and all ten of their Champions League games, followed by an exhausting World Cup campaign, it is no surprise that Rakitic's guaranteed game time has come back to bite him in the form of a thigh injury.
This injury meant that he missed Croatia's crunch UEFA Nations League tie against England on Sunday, where a 2-1 defeat saw the World Cup finalists relegated to League B.
Rakitic is under contract at Barcelona until the summer of 2021, by which time he will be 33 years old, so he could finish his career in Catalonia.
He has scored 33 goals in 231 appearances for Barca since they signed him from Sevilla in 2014.