Estonian club Paide Linnameeskond announced on Thursday that national football team captain and former Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan has joined the team after playing abroad for 17 years.
The 35-year old center back last played in Estonia in 2004, when he was part of FC Flora. The national team captain has now decided to return to his home land and joined a 1,5-year deal with Paide Linnameeskond.
"Paide has taken significant steps each year, playing for European spots. I like the entire club pyramid, representation and their vision," Klavan explained his choice. "There were some foreign offers, but they did not get too specific. Feels like the soul wanted to come back home."
Klavan said he mulled retirement as well, but ended up in what was his best choice. He added that returning to Cagliari, his previous club, was not an option for him.
The center back and Estonian national team stalwart said part of continuing his career is so he could represent the national team. "Of course, it is up to me. If I do not play well enough, does the manager have any reason to think about me joining back up with the national team. If there is a positive effect, then I will join for sure," Klavan said.
Klavan will play under the number 24 for Paide and can make his debut on July 8, when the club faces Slask Wroclaw in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
During his 17 years abroad, the all-time Estonian great played in Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, England and Italy. Klavan won a league championship playing for AZ Alkmaar and reached the Champion's League final as part of Liverpool's defensive rotation.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste