Lausanne, Switzerland, July 13, 2018 – Beach volleyball fans will be forgiven if they decide to back Croatia when they take on France in the FIFA World Cup Final on Sunday, thanks to the presence of Ivan Perisic in the Croatia team.
In 2017 the left-winger, who plys his trade in Italy for Inter Milan, competed alongside Niksa Dell’Orco at the Porec Major.
They lost all three of their matches, against US teams Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner, and Jacob Gibb and Taylor Crabb, and Brazilian duo Alvaro Filho and Saymon Santos, but they definitely made their mark.
Perisic donated his appearance fee to the Croatia Volleyball Federation to help with their development of beach volleyball players and his appearance was popular with his opponents.
One year on from his appearance in Porec the Split player has been one of the stars for the Croatia team that is one step from winning football’s ultimate prize.
He scored Croatia’s equaliser in the 2-1 victory over England in the semifinal at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium and only injury is likely to stop him being part of the starting team when Croatia return to the stadium for the final on Sunday.
The 29-year-old Perisic wasn’t the only link to football in Porec. Later in the tournament Brazil’s Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhaes showed off some skills of his own as he and Pedro Solberg beat Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst.