Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic quits international football


Zagreb: Ivan Rakitic has decided to end his international career, Croatia’s soccer federation said Monday. The 32-year-old Rakitic 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 lost 4-2 to France.

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.