New Tottenham signing Ivan Perisic played beach volleyball, was told to ‘shut up’ by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, and broke Harry Kane’s heart at the World Cup

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Despite Ivan Perisic never playing in the Premier League before, there are plenty who know all about the Croatian.

The former Inter Milan man signed for Antonio Conte’s Spurs this week and, other than when he has been an opposition player, the midfielder has never played in England.

Perisic has signed for Tottenham on a two-year deal

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Perisic has signed for Tottenham on a two-year deal

Antonio Conte and Perisic know each other well from their time in Serie A.

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Antonio Conte and Perisic know each other well from their time in Serie A.

But there will be a few familiar faces next season – including his new manager.

Despite Conte initially criticizing the winger turned wing-back when he first arrived at the club, Perisic ended up being a key performer in the Italian’s title-winning 3-5-2 formation.

Conte has since changed his mind on Perisic, later saying: “When you’ve got this kind of determination, this enthusiasm, this desire, in the end, everything gets easier for the coach.”

However, some of his new teammates may not have the fondest memories of playing against the 33-year-old, having broken English hearts in 2018.

Eric Dier and Harry Kane were both a part of the Three Lions’ squad who were knocked out of the World Cup semi-final by Croatia, a game in which Perisic both scored and assisted.

He also scored in the final against France, but his side eventually went on to lose that game 4-2.

Perisic broke England hearts across the country when he scored in the World Cup

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Perisic broke England hearts across the country when he scored in the World Cup


Whilst he prevented Kane from winning his first trophy as a player at international level, he will be hoping to make up for his past efforts by helping him finally win one at club level.

And perhaps if Kane reads his new teammate’s complimentary comments about him from that summer, he may begin to forgive the match-winner from that game in 2018.

When asked which player’s finishing technique he would like to have, Perisic responded: “I think the best finisher is Harry Kane from Tottenham.”

Kane and Perisic, alongside Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski, could be really dangerous next season

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Kane and Perisic, alongside Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski, could be really dangerous next season

One man that Perisic still may need to make amendments with, however, is Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The two worked together at Borussia Dortmund between 2011 and 2013, but it ended sourly after the player decided went public about his unhappiness at the lack of game time he was getting.

He even accused his then-manager of favoring some players over others. Ouch.

Perisic told Croatian media in 2012: “I can not be pleased with my situation at the club. I do not get a lot of time on the pitch, very much like last year.

“We have no relationship. He is the best coach in Germany right now, the no.1, everyone accepts the subordinate role.

Klopp and Perisic did not see eye to eye towards the end of the player's Dortmund career

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Klopp and Perisic did not see eye to eye towards the end of the player’s Dortmund career

“And rightly so, what we achieved in Dortmund over the past few years is unique.

“The atmosphere in the team is perfect, but he has three to four players with whom he discusses things. The rest of us are pros, doing their job. ”

Klopp did not hold back when he responded to Perisic’s comments, saying: “Public whining belongs to kindergarten, not to the world of adults.

“If he does not play, a football professional should shut his mouth, work hard and make the coach select him – do not complain about it to the reporters.”

The player signed for Wolfsburg shortly after his outburst, so it will be interesting to see how the duo interact when Liverpool face Tottenham next season.

Perisic hasn't confused the two sports just yet

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Perisic hasn’t confused the two sports just yet

Later in his career, Perisic swapped Klopp for flip flops and grass for sand, when he made his debut in the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series.

He received an invitation from the tournament’s organizers – something which the Inter hierarchy were said to be furious at, worrying that he would pick up an injury whilst playing another sport.

He was beaten comfortably by a Brazilian duo, who took part in the Olympics. But if he’d progressed to the next round, he could’ve missed the start of Inter’s Serie A season.

And Conte will be hoping that having Perisic on board at Spurs will see them coast to more success.

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