Niko Kovac's men need a win in Recife on Monday if they are to progress out of Group A, likely behind hosts Brazil.
Rakitic, 26, is wary of Mexico but remains confident Croatia can claim the win they need to set up a meeting with either Chile or the Netherlands.
''Of course, they have a really great team. Also in the defence and in the attack but I think that Mexico also played really strong football," the Barcelona midfielder said on Saturday.
"They have a good idea and know to attack, they have everything really perfectly prepared and again it will be really hard for us but we want to go through like Mexico too and for that we will have to work.
"I hope that the Mexican players have to think about our team so we can make the perfect game because we need to be ready.''
Rakitic said he was solely focused on helping Croatia reach the knockout stages as he talked up Mexico.
"We have maximum respect for the Mexican national team, but we are thinking about going through and going into the next round," he said.
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