Ivan Rakitic leaves Sevilla and joins Al Shabab

The Croatian midfielder, who has 106 caps for the national team, had returned to Sevilla in the 2020/21 season.

Ivan Rakitic leaves Sevilla and joins Al Shabab Embed from Getty Images

The transfer of 35-year-old Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla to Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia marks a significant shift in the career of the Croatian midfielder, a move that reflects both his enduring quality and the evolving landscape of global football.

As reported by the Spanish League's 16th-ranked club, this transfer concludes Rakitic's second tenure at Sevilla, a period characterized by his influential role and consistent performances.

Rakitic's journey with Sevilla is a storied one. He initially joined the club in the middle of the 2010/11 season, transferring from Schalke in Germany. During his first spell at Sevilla, Rakitic quickly established himself as a key player, showcasing his skills as a versatile and creative midfielder. His contributions were pivotal in Sevilla's success, particularly in the 2013/14 season, which culminated in a dramatic Europa League final victory against Benfica, decided by penalties.

After a successful period at Sevilla, Rakitic moved to FC Barcelona in July 2014. His time at Barcelona was marked by numerous achievements and personal growth, as he became an integral part of one of the most successful clubs in the world. During his six seasons with Barcelona, Rakitic honed his abilities, playing alongside some of the best players in football and under the guidance of top-tier coaches. His tenure at Barcelona added depth to his experience and furthered his reputation as one of the top midfielders in the game.

In the summer of 2020, Rakitic made a return to Sevilla, rejoining a club where he had previously made a significant impact. In his second stint, he continued to demonstrate his quality and leadership, contributing to the team's performance in both domestic and European competitions. Rakitic's stats during his time with Sevilla are a testament to his impact on the field: 53 goals, 63 assists, and 323 matches played, making him one of the most capped players in the club's history.

The decision to join Al Shabab represents a new chapter for Rakitic. His vast experience and skill set are expected to be a major asset for the Saudi Arabian club. The move also signifies the growing appeal of Middle Eastern football leagues, which are increasingly attracting high-profile players from European clubs.

Rakitic's journey from Basel, where he began his career and first made a name for himself in senior football, to his latest move to Al Shabab, reflects a career marked by consistency, adaptability, and excellence. His achievements at the club and international levels, including 106 caps for Croatia, paint the picture of a player who has made a significant mark on the world football stage.

As Sevilla bids farewell to one of its most influential players in recent history, both the club and its fans will look back on Rakitic's time with fondness and respect. His contributions to Sevilla's successes have cemented his place in the club's lore, and his move to Al Shabab opens a new and exciting chapter in his distinguished career.

Updated: 03:34, 30 Jan 2024

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