France will be difficult opponents for us, Croatia’s Perisic says

France will be difficult opponents for us, Croatia’s Perisic says

Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:05 pm

Croatia players rejoice after defeating England to go into Russia 2018 final

Croatia forward Ivan Perisic says Sunday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup final match against France in Moscow will be a difficult game for them in view of their opponents’ abilities.

Both sides meet in a match certain to define their tournament, with France looking for their second title win and Croatia, first tournament win.

“I have seen all their games played here, and one important thing is the fact that they have been improving with every game.

“Right from day one when people said they were unimpressive, they have been raising their game, and their defence is very solid. Definitely, we have a difficult game to play on Sunday,’’ the Inter Milan player said.

He added that France’s quality was even evident in the way they beat Belgium. “It is not easy to beat Brazil, but Belgium beat Brazil.

“And for France to smoothly beat Belgium tells you that that is a great side. But we just have to be up to our task.’’

Perisic, who was the Man of the Match against England at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, however, said the France game was a dream match for him.

“Back home in Split, I remember I used to dream of playing for Croatia and to score. Now, I am the happiest person playing for Croatia in a World Cup final.

“It is even more unique as my mother called me some days ago to tell me she dreamt we will play in the final. So, I am very happy,’’ he said.

The player, who turns out for his Italian club side either as a winger or support striker or midfielder, said France would not be strange to him on Sunday.

“I was just 17 when I had the first opportunity of playing club football in France then. I spent two years and learnt the French language then, and my time with Sochaux gave me a lot of experience.’’

Perisic, who scored the equaliser and provided the assistance for the winning goal in their 2-1 win over extra time, said his 68th minute goal against England was unique to him.

“It is important because it was scored at a key moment when we were dominating and needed it. Though, to me, it is not always important who scores, but today’s goal is unique.’’

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