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Croatia World Cup hero leaves AC Milan after one season blighted by heart condition

Ivan Strinic was diagnosed with early signs of hypertrophy shortly after arriving at the club.

Ivan Strinic in action for AC Milan earlier this year.
Ivan Strinic in action for AC Milan earlier this year.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

CROATIAN INTERNATIONAL DEFENDER Ivan Strinic has left AC Milan by mutual consent after just one season during which he never played after being diagnosed with a heart condition, the Italian club announced on Monday.

The 32-year-old left-back — a key member of the Croatian team that reached the World Cup final in 2018 — joined Milan from Sampdoria just after the tournament on a two-year deal.

But he failed to make any appearances for the seven-time European champions after being diagnosed with early signs of hypertrophy, a thickening of the heart muscle, shortly after his arrival.

“AC Milan announces the termination by mutual consent of the contract with the defender Ivan Strinic,” the Serie A team said in a statement.

“The club wishes the footballer every success in his future career.”

The defender has been linked with a possible move to Serie A rivals SPAL or Parma.

Strinic, who has 49 caps, played six of Croatia’s seven World Cup games in Russia as they reached final where they lost 4-2 to France. 

He started his career with Hadjuk Split in his native Croatia, and also played in France and Ukraine before joining Serie A side Napoli in 2015, and Sampdoria in 2017 and AC Milan in 2018.

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© – AFP 2019

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