RIYADH — Croatian football star Ivan Rakitić has made an impactful debut for Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab's first team, and what has particularly caught the attention of fans is his choice of jersey number - 30.
When asked about the significance of the number 30, Rakitić explained that while his preferred numbers have traditionally been 7 and 10, he decided to wear the number 30 for Al-Shabab to show his support for Vision 2030, reflecting the rich history and visionary goals of Saudi Arabia.
Expressing his excitement about being part of Al-Shabab, Rakitić stated, "My decision to join Al-Shabab comes after extensive research into the club's history and values. I believe it's the perfect time for a new and remarkable chapter in my career with this club, and I'm confident that Al-Shabab's passionate fan base will become my second family."
During his official presentation to the media, Rakitić expressed readiness to take the field with the team in upcoming matches, emphasizing unity and cooperation to guide Al-Shabab back to its rightful place in the football landscape.
Rakitić's signing with Al-Shabab was announced during the winter transfer window in January 2024. The Croatian midfielder joined the club from the Spanish team Sevilla, and his contract is set to last for a season and a half, until June 30, 2025. His choice of jersey number and commitment to supporting Vision 2030 underlines his alignment with the goals and aspirations of the Saudi Arabian club and the country as a whole.