Man United boss Jose Mourinho on why Ivan Perisic is ‘different’ to other wingers

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho last night lavished praise on Croatian winger Ivan Perisic, following the starring role played by the Inter Milan man during his side’s World Cup semi-final victory over England.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head in the second of the tournament’s final-4 clashes, with Croatia having secured their place in the semis courtesy of a pair of gruelling 120-minute (plus penalties) outings in the last-16 and quarter-finals.

England, meanwhile, also went a full two hours during their last-16 tie with Colombia, though they made far shorter work of Sweden in the last-8.

2-1

As such, many had predicted that Croatia’s brutal route to the World Cup’s final-4 could see their younger English counterparts take advantage as proceedings in Moscow wore on.

However, this turned out to be quite the opposite of how things actually unfolded last night, as a strong start from England saw Gareth Southgate’s men take an early lead courtesy of a stunning Kieran Trippier free-kick.

The Three Lions continued to pile on the pressure during the early moments of the clash and could easily have added to their lead before the quarter of an hour mark.

However, Croatia hung on, before working their way into things as the fixture wore on and eventually snatching a richly-deserved equalizer through Ivan Perisic in the 68th-minute.

Zlatko Dalic’s men continued to look the far more likely to grab a winner as the clash entered extra-time, with the incredible drive and fitness of the Croatians having shone through once again over the added half-hour.

Mario Mandzukic eventually notched the all-important winner with 12 of the 120 minutes remaining, sealing Croatia’s first ever spot in the World Cup final, where they will meet France this Sunday.

Unique

In the aftermath of the matchup, a number of the Croat stars were singled out for special praise, with the likes of Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren and aforementioned Mandzukic all celebrated by fans and the media alike.

However, no player was more effusively lavished in praise than Ivan Perisic, who notched a goal, an assist, hit the post, and just looked a general menace to England’s backline throughout the 2 hours at the Luzhniki Stadium.

One individual who was particularly impressed by the showing of the Inter Milan winger was Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who of course pushed hard to secure the 29-year-old’s signature last summer.

Speaking in an interview with RT following Croatia’s victory, Mourinho explained why he views Perisic as being ‘different’ to most other wide-men:

‘Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others. Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative. But he is also physical, very physical, fantastic in the air.’

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