Croatia winger Ivan Perisic could miss World Cup final after being treated in a Moscow hospital for a thigh injury
- Ivan Perisic could miss Croatia’s first ever World Cup final on Sunday afternoon
- Perisic had a key influence in Croatia’s route to the final in Moscow
- The Inter Milan star scored in Croatia’s semi-final victory over England
- Perisic has scored twice in each of the last three major tournaments for Croatia
Ivan Perisic’s dream of playing in Croatia’s first World Cup final could be over after suffering a thigh injury.
Perisic received treatment in a Moscow hospital on Thursday less than 24 hours after playing a key part in Croatia’s semi-final win over England.
The 29-year-old, who is on the radar of a number of clubs including Manchester United, scored in the 2-1 win at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Ivan Perisic could miss Croatia’s first ever World Cup final after suffering from a thigh injury
An icepack was applied to the back of his left thigh after the game to reduce the swelling.
It was Croatia’s third game in a row that had gone into extra-time and a number of players were given the full day on Thursday to recover.
Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said it was too early to talk about his players’ fitness ahead of the final.
Perisic injured his left thigh during the World Cup semi-final win over England on Wednesday
Dalic said: ‘The guys celebrated reaching the final and today we are having a day of recovery. I’m not ready yet to talk about the condition of the players.
‘Before the match against England we had enough problems, but nobody complained. No one, no matter how hard it got, wanted to leave the pitch. I’m proud to coach these players.’
France will be Croatia’s opponents for their first showing at a World Cup final.
Croatia were knocked out by France at the semi-final stage at the World Cup in 1998.
The 29-year-old scored Croatia’s first goal against England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow
Perisic believes that defeat will help spur on his team-mates when the two sides meet again on Sunday.
‘France stopped us in the semi-finals in 1998,’ he said. ‘We will have some extra motivation because of that, for sure. But this is a totally different story.
‘They are favourites, but we will do our best to surprise them. We have three days to prepare ourselves.
‘We are all happy to be staying in Moscow, that was our goal. Our dream is so close now.’
Croatia will face France in the World Cup final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.