FC Barcelona have announced the capture of Sevilla FC's UEFA Europa League-winning captain Ivan Rakitić for a fee reported to be in the region of €20m.
Currently on international duty with Croatia, who began their FIFA World Cup bid with a 3-1 defeat by Brazil on Thursday, Rakitić has agreed a five-year contract with the Blaugrana and recently appointed coach Luis Enrique. Midfielder Denis Suárez, 20, will be loaned the other way for the next two seasons as a makeweight.
The 26-year-old Swiss-born playmaker developed into a crowd favourite at Sevilla after joining from FC Schalke 04 for €1.5m in January 2011. He scored 25 goals in 117 top-flight games for the Nervionenses and capped his three-and-a-half-season stay in Andalusia with a man-of-the-match performance in May's UEFA Europa League final, when Unai Emery's side defeated SL Benfica on penalties in Turin.
An FC Basel 1893 youth-team product, Rakitić has thus far registered 9 goals in 63 internationals for Croatia. He will join fellow new signing, former VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, at Barcelona following Croatia's participation at the World Cup finals.
Barcelona and Sevilla will open their respective 2014/15 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League challenges from the tournaments' group stages.
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