Saudi League: 2018 World Cup runner-up Rakitic joins Al Shabab

The Croatian had previously spent six years at Barcelona where he won the Champions League, Club World Cup and the LaLiga

By Reuters

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Ivan Rakitic. Photo: AFP file
Ivan Rakitic. Photo: AFP file

Published: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 5:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 6:06 PM

Former Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic has left Sevilla following a second spell at the club ahead of his move to Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab, the LaLiga side said on Tuesday.

The player's contract was set to expire at the end of the campaign.

"We have agreed a deal with Saudi Pro League side Al Shabab Club for the transfer of Ivan Rakitic, who will bring his second spell with us to a close," Sevilla said in a statement.

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Rakitic, who first played for the Spanish club from 2011-2014 following a move from Bundesliga side Schalke 04, returned to Sevilla in September 2020 after six years at Barcelona.

Last year, he helped Sevilla win a record-extending seventh Europa League title, after winning his first in 2013-14 during his first spell with the club.

Rakitic, until now a vice-captain for the team, became the foreigner with the most official matches in Sevilla's history and the only one to have surpassed 300 games with the club (323).

During his time at Barcelona, Rakitic won the Champions League in 2014-15, followed by the Super Cup and a Club World Cup. He was also a four-times LaLiga champion, four-times Spanish Cup winner and won two Spanish Super Cups.

The 35-year-old earned more than 100 caps for Croatia between 2007-2019, helping his country to a runners-up finish at the 2018 World Cup.

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