Soccer

Canadian star forward Cyle Larin joins Belgian side Club Brugge on free transfer

Forward Cyle Larin is joining fellow Canadian Tajon Buchanan at Belgium's Club Brugge after signing a contract through 2025.

Brampton, Ont., native played integral role in Canada qualifying for World Cup

Former Besiktas forward Cyle Larin of Brampton, Ont., has signed on with Belgian side Club Brugge through 2025. (Uwe Kraft/AFP via Getty Images/File)

Forward Cyle Larin is joining fellow Canadian Tajon Buchanan at Belgium's Club Brugge.

Larin, who leads all Canadian men with 24 goals internationally, said farewell to Turkey's Besiktas in a social media post on the weekend.

"We accomplished a lot together," wrote the 27-year-old from Brampton, Ont. "Stood strong during the tough days and from there brought great joy as we went on to win championships. It was an honour to share those moments with all of you who are part of this wonderful Besiktas family. Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye."

Club Brugge announced Larin's arrival in a social media post showing the Canadian in the team's new jersey.

"New challenge, new colours. Bruges boy. Welcome Cyle."

Larin, who was out of contact with Besiktas, has signed with Brugge through 2025.

Club Brugge won the Belgian league title in May for the third season in a row, and the 18th time overall, and will play in next season's Champions League.

16 goals in qualifying run

Brugges finished runner-up to Union Saint-Gilloise in the regular-season but took the Belgian title with a successful playoff run.

Buchanan, a 23-year-old winger from Brampton, joined the Belgian side in a transfer from the New England Revolution at the end of the 2021 Major League Soccer season.

Larin has 24 goals in 52 appearances for Canada and played a key part in Canada's successful World Cup qualifying campaign with 16 goals — over 21 games — since the start of 2021.

The six-foot-two striker set the Canadian men's scoring record in January in a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over the U.S. in Hamilton, passing Dwayne De Rosario, who had 22 goals in 81 appearances.

Larin joined Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson at Besiktas in January 2018 after a messy exit from Major League Soccer's Orlando City.

Larin won MLS rookie of the year honours in 2015 after scoring a rookie-record 17 goals. He added another 14 goals in 2016 and 12 in 2017.

After two years at the University of Connecticut, Larin was selected first overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

Larin, who played for Toronto-area academy Sigma FC from 2007 through 2014, made his senior debut for Canada against Bulgaria in May 2014.

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