Ivan Rakitić recently revealed that his severe stomach issues were having an affect on his game. It wasn't until the Barcelona midfielder met with physicians that he found out an intolerance to gluten was the cause of his constant state of unease.
The 30-year-old playmaker hails from Switzerland, but competes internationally from Croatia, and plays for FC Barcelona. Rakitić jokes that being surrounded by so many different cuisines is perhaps what caused his stomach to act up.
Rakitić explained his newfound gluten-free diet to El Pais: "I had a bit of luck, as in an analysis it turned out that I was celiac and I couldn't eat gluten, many times after games I felt pretty bad, bloated and I wasn't recovering so well.
"I changed several things and I found myself very comfortable and very well throughout the season.
"I completely changed all my diet and I've also started working with people and all that has helped me a lot. Since I changed, I recover much better, easier and my stomach doesn't give me any problems."
Rakitić has helped Croatia make it to the semi-finals as they prepare to take on a strong England squad this Wednesday. Having netted one goal through 428 minutes, Rakitić will be leaving everything he has out on the pitch.
Since Rakitić has performed brilliantly for Croatia in the World Cup thus far, it should be exciting to see how much of an effect this diet change truly has on his game when he suits up in a Barcelona jersey once again.