He played with Messi at Barcelona, now he moves to Saudi Arabia with Cristiano

Lionel Messi's former Barcelona teammate officially makes a move to Saudi Arabia, where Cristiano Ronaldo plays.

By Emmanuel Mendez

Messi's former Barca teammate with join the Saudi Pro League with Ronaldo.
Messi's former Barca teammate with join the Saudi Pro League with Ronaldo.
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Another star player from Europe has officially joined the Saudi Pro League. This player was a former FC Barcelona player and a Champions League winner with Lionel Messi. He played over 500 games in La Liga and is a club legend for FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC.

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Ivan Rakitic has officially left Sevilla today to join Al Shabab in the Saudi Pro League. The Croatian midfielder signed his contract termination with the club and talked in a press conference to announce the move. He joins Cristiano Ronaldo, along with other players like Karim Benzema and Neymar, to play in the Saudi Pro League. Rakitic was emotional about the move but he has featured in fewer games for Sevilla in the recent games.

Rakitic spoke to the press about his departure, saying, "We have lived 7 incredible years together. I have had the privilege of wearing this shirt [Sevilla] 323 times. How can a Croatian born in Switzerland say that his home is in Seville? I will return, and I will always stay next to Sevilla Futbol Club. I know that this difficult season is going to end well, I trust you, president."

Rakitic mentioned that one of the reasons for leaving was his lack of playing time. He understands he will not be called up but wants to play more. Rakitic says, "I came to understand that the new coach's idea was not the same as mine... for me, it's impossible to sit on the bench and not be able to help Sevilla. Al-Shabab wants to grow a lot in Saudi Arabia, and there, I can give my best on the field, help the young people, and have the mentality to make that team and league grow."

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What's next for Sevilla, and who will Rakitic play along with in Al-Shabab?

Sevilla is having a terrible season, placing last in their Champions League group stage and sitting in 16th in La Liga, only a point above the relegation zone. Rakitic will play for Al-Shabab, who sits 11th in the Saudi Pro League table. He will play with notable players like Habib Diallo, Roman Saiss, and Yannick Carrasco.

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