New signing Perisic pledges to "give everything so we are successful."
Likeable, reserved, modest - that's how new signing Ivan Perisic appeared on Wednesday at his official unveiling as an FC Bayern player at Säbener Straße. "I'm here to be part of the team. There are a lot of games and you can't play in all of them. We need every player," said the 30-year-old World Cup runner-up, who returns to the Bundesliga after a four-year absence.
"I have a lot of experience from my time in Germany and Italy, and from France and Belgium too when I was younger. That will certainly help me in future," remarked the winger, intimating he won't need much time to settle in. Nor linguistically either. "I understand everything, but after the four years I still need a little time," Perisic said in almost perfect German, before preferring to speak to the media in English.
In Munich, Perisic has been reunited with an old acquaintance: he already played in the Croatian national team under head coach Niko Kovac. "I know him, I know what he can do, I know what abilities he possesses," the 47-year-old football tactician said about his compatriot. "He's very good with both feet, is an aggressive runner, strong with the head and a super team player. I'm glad he's here and I'm sure he'll give us just what we need on the edges."
Great scoring and assist records
Kovac even described Perisic as one of the "top 3 players" of the Croatian team which, at last year's World Cup in Russia could only be finally stopped in the final against a France team which included his new teammates Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernández and Corentin Tolisso. The decision to move to Munich was not difficult for him: "When a club like Bayern calls, you can't say no."
For the last four years, Perisic played for Inter Milan, but he was denied major trophies with the Nerazurri. Last season, with Perisic, Inter at least qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2012. His spells at VfL Wolfsburg, with whom he won the DFB Cup and the DFL Supercup in 2015, and previously at Borussia Dortmund, were more successful. With BVB, he won the championship and DFB Cup double in 2012 as well as the Supercup.
At all of his previous clubs, Perisic excelled with his speed and goal-scoring ability. He made 163 competitive appearances for Inter and had a hand in 77 goals (40 goals and 37 assists), and at Wolfsburg (88 games, 21 goals, 17 assists), Dortmund (64/12/7), Club Brugge (89/35/23) or with the Croatian national team (82/23/19) his scoring and assist records were no less impressive. With 22 goals, he was top scorer in the 2010/11 season at Brugge.
The new FC Bayern number 14 should not have a problem fitting in athletically either. In the last few weeks he has enjoyed "a good pre-season" at Inter Milan, Perisic revealed. He is sure having worked with the new coach Antonio Conte, who is "a hard task-master" will help him a lot here. On Matchday one against Hertha BSC Perisic will have to sit-out a suspension from last season in Italy, but afterwards "I want to give everything so we are successful."