Ivan Rakitic is perhaps one of the most underrated players of the last decade. Being a box-to-box midfielder, the Croatian played for the likes of Sevilla and Barcelona, and with the latter, he achieved a lot of success in midfield and helped them win the Champions League in 2015. He has also been crucial to Croatia’s recent international successes.
Rakitic returned to Sevilla in 2020, where he continued to be an impressive force in midfield. But it seems his days at the club are over, as he is now going to finally leave European soccer.
Ivan Rakitic inches towards Al-Shabab in permanent move
Ivan Rakitic is now close to moving to Saudi Arabian Premier League side Al-Shabab in the current winter transfer window. The exit was expected, but many had thought Inter Miami would be able to get the midfielder to join his former Barcelona teammates.
The Croatian is currently 35 years old and is seemingly no longer able to keep up with the pace of the European stage. His contract was due to end this summer, but the club wanted to part ways this winter in order to create some space on their wage bill, as they also face financial problems.
🚨🇸🇦 Ivan Rakitić has informed Sevilla, club and his teammates that he’s set to leave.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 27, 2024
Rakitić has accepted to join Al Shabab in Saudi.
It’s just time for formal steps now.
🩺 Medical booked this weekend.
✈️ Travel to Saudi expected on Monday.
Here we go, coming soon 🇭🇷 pic.twitter.com/VNW5XjkYjg
Fabrizio Romano has already confirmed the news, and the squad has been bid farewell by the player himself. He has travelled to Saudi Arabia today in order for the medical tests to take place, after which the deal will be confirmed.
Being a vastly experienced midfielder, Rakitic has much to offer the Saudi side, which sit at 11th in the Saudi Pro League. The Croatian is their first big signing so far, and he promises to see a new beginning at the club. The club will count on his help in order to advance up the table and avoid relegation at all costs.
Rakitic’s career highlight
Ivan Rakitic has had a quiet but interesting career. He made his debut back in 2005, when he came through the academy ranks of Swiss club FC Basel. He then moved to the German club FC Schalke, where he made quite a name for himself as a top talent.
Rakitic made a big move to Sevilla in 2010, the start of a beautiful journey. He became captain in 2013 and won the UEFA Europa League with them. He then joined Barcelona the next year, winning the Champions League with them. He also won the La Liga, Copa del Rey, and Spanish Super Cup in the next few years with them.
🇭🇷 Ivan Rakitic legendary stats for Sevilla:— Sholy Nation Sports (@Sholynationsp) January 28, 2024
👕 323 games
⚽️ 51 goals
🎯 63 assists
🤝 114 goal contributions
🏆 2x Europa League
Rakitic to Al Shabab is a DONE DEAL! ✅ pic.twitter.com/8lwC7Mq1QS
Due to the club’s financial situation, he left for a reunion with Sevilla in 2020. He won the Europa League with them again in 2023. Rakitic has also had a good international career with Croatia, where he was instrumental in them being the runners-up in the 2018 World Cup final. He later retired for them in 2020, as he got limited playing time.
Ivan Rakitic is expected to be announced as the new player for Al-Shabab in the next few days, while Sevilla prepares to say goodbye to one of their legends.