Fenerbahçe bid farewell to Rapaic

Fenerbahçe SK have terminated the contract of Croatian international striker Milan Rapaic.

Turkish club Fenerbahçe SK announced today that they have terminated the contract of their Croatian international striker Milan Rapaic.

Training camp
Saadettin Saran, Fenerbahçe's director of football, announced his club's decision at a press conference in Belek, Antalya, where the team is currently preparing for the resumption of the Turkish season on 9 February.

‘Negative effect’
"After talking to our technical staff and Rapaic, we decided that it is the best situation for all concerned to terminate his contract," Saran said. "He had been complaining about a lack of opportunities and asked for more first-team football. Because he was getting restless it was starting to have a negative effect on the rest of the team."

Memorable goal
Saran added that the club were "not satisfied" with the performances of a player who was one of Croatia's best performers during what was a disappointing FIFA World Cup for his country. Rapaic, though, provided Croatia's only highlight, scoring the winning goal in a memorable 2-1 success against Italy in Ibaraki.

Championship success
Rapaic made his name with HNK Hajduk Split, winning three championships and two Croatian Cups, prior to a move to AC Perugia. He spent four seasons with the Italian club before joining Fenerbahçe in summer 2000, for whom he has scored 16 goals in 68 appearances.

New coach
However, Rapaic struck just once in eleven games in what has been a disappointing campaign for Fenerbahçe thus far. The Istanbul club are six points from the top of the Turkish table in fourth position, though will hope to improve under new coach Oguz Çetin, who this week tempted FC Spartak Moskva and Russia striker Vladimir Beschastnykh to the Sükrü Saraçoglu stadium.