‘He is the kind of winger that is different to the others’: Jose Mourinho lauds former Manchester United target Ivan Perisic after Croatia win
- Ivan Perisic played a crucial role in Croatia reaching a first World Cup final
- The Inter winger scored and registered an assist during 2-1 win over England
- Jose Mourinho spoke of Perisic’s specific qualities during his role as a pundit
- Manchester United tried and failed to sign the 29-year-old in a deal last summer
Perisic eventually proved an influential figure for his country on Wednesday night as they came from behind to progress through to their maiden World Cup final courtesy of a nervy 2-1 victory over England in Moscow.
The Inter Milan winger, who also scored the winner against Iceland in Group D, netted Croatia’s equaliser with 22 minutes of normal time remaining and later struck the woodwork before winning the header that led to Mario Mandzukic’s decisive extra-time strike.
Ivan Perisic played a key role in Croatia’s World Cup semi-final victory over England in Moscow
He stole ahead of Kyle Walker to net a crucial equaliser for Zlatko Dalic’s side at the Luzhniki
Perisic also won the header that led to Mario Mandzukic’s winning goal in extra-time
Despite having spent his career in France, Belgium, Germany and Italy, Perisic was already a familiar name to fans of English football due to the various transfer rumours that have centred around him over recent years.
The most prominent of those sagas came last summer, when Manchester United earmarked the 29-year-old as their ideal fourth signing to follow the additions of Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic.
They submitted a handful of bids for Perisic worth up to £45million, but did not meet his asking price and watched as the player instead signed a bumper new five-year contract at the San Siro.
Perisic was strongly pursued by Manchester United during last summer’s transfer window
Jose Mourinho praised the Inter Milan winger and outlined his qualities while on punditry duty
Such a failure does not appear to have soured Mourinho to his qualities, as evidenced by the Portuguese’s favourable analysis of Perisic following his effective performance in a high-stakes clash at the Luzhniki Stadium.
‘Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others,’ Mourinho said in his role as an expert for RT.
‘Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative. But he is also physical, very physical. Fantastic in the air.’
Waxing lyrical regarding Perisic’s crucial aerial victory over Kieran Trippier that teed up Mandzukic, Mourinho added: ‘So the way he wins that ball in the air and puts the ball into that space is only possible if you are very, very physical and dominant over defenders.
‘So he was amazing by going there and winning that ball in the air.’
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.