The 2018 World Cup’s Most Influential Player

Full Name: Ivan Perisic

Birthdate: February 2, 1999

Place of Birth: Croatia

Football Club (Currently): Inter Milan

Playing Years: 2007 to present (Senior)

Position(s): Striker

Formative Years:

Ivan Perisic began his football career by playing in the youth ranks of Hajduk Split, the club he grew up supporting. As a young player, he caught the interest of several clubs including Anderlecht, PSV, Ajax, and Hamburger SV before he was signed by French club Sochaux in 2006. He was part of the Sochaux youth team that won the Coupe Gambardella in 2007. In January 2009, he sent on loan to Belgian’s top-flight club Roeselare for six months.

Football Career:

Club Brugge                                 

In August 2009, Perisic signed with Belgian club, Club Brugge, on a three-year contract. During the opening match of the 2009-10 season, he claimed his first goal in a 1-1 draw during a match against KRC Genk, and then later scored his second goal in a 4-1 win against KVC Westerlo. Perisic scored a total of 9 goals in 33 league appearances, and another 8 in Brugge’s UEFA Europa League campaign. He extended his contract with Brugge at the end of the season.  In the 2010-11 season with Brugge, he was named the top scorer, along with Player of the Year in Belgium, in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League after scoring 22 goals for the club.

Borussia Dortmund

In May 2011, Perisic signed with German club Borussia Dortmund on a five-year contract. He made his debut for the club during a 3-1 victory against Hamburger SV. During a UEFA Champions League game the following month, he notched a late equaliser with a volley from 20 years against Arsenal. In April 2012, Ivan Perisic scored the most important goal of the season during a match against Borussia Monchengladbach which secured Dortmund’s eighth national championship.

VfL Wolfsburg

The month of January was memorable for the new Wolfsburg recruit. In January 2013, he signed with VfL Wolfsburg, and immediately scored his first goal for the club in a scrimmage against Standard Liege. It was also during this month when he made his debut for the club against VfB Stuttgart. He suffered a left knee injury in March which left him sidelined throughout March and April. However, he made his comeback during a match with Hamburger SV. Perisic finished his season with Wolfsburg, scoring a total of ten goals, second-best on the team behind fellow compatriot Ivica Olic. In March, he suffered a left knee injury that left him sidelined throughout March and April. He made his return in a match against Hamburger SV. In May 2013, he faced his former club Borussia Dortmund, scoring two goals.

Inter Milan

In August 2015, Perisic signed with Italian club Inter Milan on a five-year contract. He made his debut for Inter three days later, starting and playing for 85 minutes during a 1-0 win against rivals Milan in the Derby della Madonnina. He made his Coppa Italia debut in the 16th round during a match against Cagliari. Perisic ended his first Inter season by playing 37 matches, including 34 in leagues, and claiming nine goals, as Inter placed fourth in the Serie A division, making a comeback in European competitions after a year of absence. He was Inter’s top assist provider with six assists.

Perisic opened the next season by playing in the last 30 minutes of the first matchday at Chievo. He later bagged his first goal of the season in the Derby d’Italia against Juventus, helping the club secure its second win of the season. It was also the first in a league against Juventus since November 2012. He played his first European match for the club in September in the team’s UEFA Europa League group stage match against Sparta Prague.

In January 2017, Perisic provided a Man of the match performance by scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory against Udinese. It was his first club brace which took his record of up to six goals. This was followed by another superb performance against Chievo six days later as he scored Inter’s second goal in an eventual 3-1 win.

On the final matchday, he delivered a spectacular performance as Inter dominated Udinese in a 5-2 triumph, ending the season on a high. He finished his second season with the club by appearing in 42 matches in all competitions, 31 of which as a starter, Inter finished the Serie A in the seventh place, once again qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. He scored a total of 11 goals, his highest tally since 2010-11 with Club Brugge, and provided 10 assists, breaking his last season’s record.

Ivan Perisic started the following season on a high, first scoring during the opening day of the 2017-18 Serie A against Florentina, then providing two assists in an away match at Roma as the club claimed a 3-0 victory. On December 30, 2017, he marked his 100th appearance for Inter. His volatility along with his great technical abilities makes him one of the best finishers and assist-men in all of Europe. With a total of 20 goals and 18 assists in his first two seasons with the club, Ivan Perisic’s performance and statistics has made him a significant player for Inter.

International Career

Perisic represented Croatia in the under-17, under-19, and under-21 level. In March 2011, he made his debut for the Croatia senior national team in a match against Georgia. He was a member of Croatia’s squad for UEFA Euro 2010. He also appeared in 12 matches during the 2014 World Cup qualification. He secured his spot in the final 23-man squad when he scored a brace in a 2-1 win against Mali in a World Cup warm-up match. Despite Croatia’s early elimination, Perisic was ranked as the second-best player of the group stage by FIFA.

Croatia made an unexpected comeback during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Perisic was present frequently in Croatia’s successful 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds, and was one of the players who secured Croatia’s spot in the World Cup finals stages. During the third group stage match, he scored in the last minute of the regular time in a 2-1 victory against Iceland. In the semi-finals match against England, he scored Croatia’s equaliser in the second half of the regulation time. He also set up Mario Mandzukic’s match-winning goal that paved the way for the team to the World Cup final for the first time in history, becoming the Man of the Match.

By @EliaasMJ

Catch this striker in action as Inter Milan Frosinone on Wednesday, October 3, at the Philips Stadion, 20:00  (UTC/GMT). Stay tuned on Eastbridge sports betting brokerage for more player features and game updates.

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