Millions of people around the world watched as Ivan Perisic scored the equalizer goal in Croatia’s 2-1 shocking upset of England at the World Cup semis in Russia. His goal changed the tide of the game and allowed Croatia to come out victorious en route to playing its first ever World Cup Final.
However, few people know that Perisic has already tried his hand in Beach Volleyball as well. He participated in Croatia’s Porec Major in 2017 alongside Niksa Dell’Orco to promote the event. 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, which was expected, but he surprised fans with his adequate play of the sport. At the end, Perisic donated his appearance fee to the Croatia Volleyball Federation to help with their development of beach volleyball players.
But not everyone was thrilled about his appearance on the beach. His team, Inter Milan, was reportedly furious and imposed a “heavy fine” upon the player. Regardless, Brazilian volleyball star Saymon commented on what was like to face-off against one of soccer’s biggest stars in the beach courts (Globo.com):
“It was an honor to go against one of the best soccer players in the world. He is a great athlete and it was a very different experience for our sport to have him here. He is very competitive and showed a lot of skill.”
Perisic will now play for sport immortality this Sunday as Croatia takes on favorites France in the World Cup Finals.