Ivan Rakitic retires from international after 106 caps for Croatia

Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic retires from international football after making 106 appearances for Croatia

  • Ivan Rakitic has decided to bring an end to his international career
  • The 32-year-old played over a hundred times for Croatia and scored 15 goals
  • He was a key part of the team that made it to the 2018 World Cup final 

Ivan Rakitic has decided to end his international career, Croatia’s football federation announced on Monday.

The 32-year-old played 106 times for his country in a storied midfield partnership with Luka Modric that lasted for more than a decade.

They were key to Croatia reaching the 2018 World Cup final, where they were beaten 4-2 by France.

Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has officially retired from international football

Rakitic scored the decisive penalty in shootouts to beat Denmark and host Russia in the first two knockout rounds.

‘Saying goodbye to the Croatian national team is the most difficult decision in my career,’ Rakitic said in a federation statement.

Born in Switzerland, Rakitic started his career at Basel and represented Swiss national youth teams before opting to switch to his parents’ home nation.

Rakitic made 106 appearances for his country, scoring 15 goals in the process 

He leaves the Croatia squad just nine months before it plays at the postponed 2020 European Championship. Croatia is in a group with England, the Czech Republic and a playoff winner not yet decided.

Rakitic is in his first season back at Sevilla, where he won a Europa League title in 2014 before starting a six-year spell at Barcelona. 

He scored the opening goal in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Juventus in the 2015 Champions League final.

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