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Rakitić commits to Croatian cause

FC Schalke 04 midfielder Ivan Rakitić has overlooked the country of his birth, Switzerland, and decided instead to pledge his international future to Croatia.

Swiss departure
Rakitić, who holds dual citizenship, has represented Switzerland at Under-17 and U19 level but in the same week as completing his move from Swiss Super League side FC Basel 1893 to 2007/08 UEFA Champions League hopefuls Schalke, the attacking midfielder has also severed international ties with the country of his birth and preferred to commit to Croatia. Switzerland coach Jakob Kuhn had offered Rakitic a place in his squad for the recent friendly against Argentina but the 19-year-old declined. "We have tried a lot to win him over," said Kuhn. "But I have to accept his decision."