Perisic thanks Klopp: ‘He taught me modern football’

Ian Watson

Croatia star Ivan Perisic has thanked Jurgen Klopp for teaching him how to play ‘modern football’.

Having played under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund between 2011 and 2013, Perisic returned to the Bundesliga this summer when he joined Bayern Munich on a long-term loan deal from Inter Milan.

The 30-year-old was a long-term target for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United – and the winger admits he was desperate to move to Old Trafford. But Perisic has credited Klopp for his rise to the top, even if he didn’t see eye to eye with the German coach before he was allowed to move to Wolfsburg.

“I wasn’t ready for it,” he told The Athletic. “I was not used to defending from the front. I didn’t even know that it was a two-way game.

“Jurgen taught me modern football. I have to say thank you to him for that. We won the double in the first year but when I saw that my situation didn’t change in the second season, I wanted to leave.

“I told him I wanted to be regular starter, and he said: ‘I respect your decision, we will find a solution’.”