Belgian Player Of The Year on his way to Dortmund
Ivan Perisic, the 22 year old 2 time Croatian A-Team-Player and Belgian Top Scorer and Player Of The Year is set to sign a 5 year contract with Borussia Dortmund this week. We spoke to our Belgian sg-correspondent Stoffel Werbrouck.
It has only been one week since Dortmund celebrated their heroes and only three days after our last match in Poznan, which we drew 0-0. Summer break has started and the Young Guns have since gone on holiday. It was Mats Hummels who complained via Facebook that this season should have never ended. Hummels, Götze, Schmelzer and Sven Bender however will have to play a few more matches for the Nationalelf.
Another player in Borussia Dortmund’s spotlight for the past couple of months is going to be called up by Slaven Bilic, the manager of Croatia. Ivan Perisic, the 22 year old midfielder from FC Club Bruges, has today confirmed his transfer to Borussia Dortmund. Who is that Young Gun, that has just been named Belgium Player Of The Year? We got on our phone to Stoffel Werbrouck, schwatzgelb.com-correspondent in Belgium.
sg.com: Stoffel, what can you tell us about Ivan’s career so far?
SW: Ivan was born on February, 2nd 1989 in Split. At the age of 17, he signed his first contract for French club FC Souchaux. But after he was mostly benched in his first season for Sochaux, he was on loaned out to the Belgium first league team FC Roeselar. He played a great season there, but even his efforts could not help Roeslar avoid relegation. He then returned to FC Souchaux, but did not have a future there. On August, 26th 2009 he signed a three year contract with Club Bruges. His transfer fee was 250.000€.
sg.com: What impact did he have in Bruges?
SW: Ivan played 59 matches for them and scored 35 goals. This year he scored 22 goals, assisted 10 and became top scorer of the league. Bruges finished in the Europa League ranks, which is a good result for them. Perisic was voted Belgian Player Of The Year by his fellow footballers in Belgium. In one statement he said: “This has come as a surprise to me. Actually, I was already glad to be one of the three nominees. Winning this trophy is almost unbelievable. It's been a fantastic end to the season for both Club [Brugge] and me. I want to thank everyone who voted for me; it's very special as it was my colleagues who chose me. Next to my title as top scorer this is a nice award, which I also have to thank my team-mates and coaches at Club Brugge for. It's special to be able to say goodbye in this way to the club and the fans who gave me so much". In his two years for Bruges he has earned the status as one of the best midfilders in Belgium. In his first year he had already been voted Player Of The Season 2009/2010 by the readers of Belgium’s biggest sportsite, www.sporza.be.
sg.com: Tell us something about Ivan’s international career so far.
SW: Perisic has appeared internationally for the Croatian national Under 17, Under 18 and Under 21 teams .He participated in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification for Croatia, where he scored 2 goals. On January, 26th 2011, as a 21-year old, he won his first cap for the Croatian A-Team.
sg.com: Which skills make Perisic so special?
SW: First of all he has got an excellent technique. He has proven to be a great goal scorer and has shown outstanding abilities with his head, making him one of the best in the Belgium championship. He also has a very good and hard shot, left or right is no problem for him. He can also set up great long passes and is able to open the game. With his technique he is also very good in one-on-one-situations. He can play on the wings, or could also replace Nuri as the offensive holding midfielder.
sg.com: Sounds fantastic, Stoffel. We have heard a lot about his pros, are there any cons?
SW: Ivan has got a difficult character. At times he has not been motivated to play against the smaller teams, he also had a few problems with his teammates. In one situation Ivan wanted to take a free kick and one of his teammates as well. They started quarreling on the field. He sometimes also had a tough time with the Bruges supporters. In his last game for Bruges he did not celebrate his goal and started arguing with the fans.
sg.com: Difficult character, but nothing Kloppo will not cope with, I believe.
SW: Yes, definitely. He will answer on the pitch and with his skills and technique he should be able to be an asset to our game. We will have a lot of pleasure with this young Croat.
Sg.com: Thanks you very much, Stoffel, for all the info.
And so we welcome our fourth signing of this summer. After Leitner, Gündogan and Löwe we now are looking forward to seeing our first international signing wear black and yellow. According to kicker Magazine the Perisic signing up until 2016 could already be the last transfer this summer. By the way, our last signing from a Belgium club was a some guy called Jan Koller. Big footsteps to follow in for Perisic, but why should he not be able to follow in?