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Tournament specialist Ivan Perisic is currently the best midfielder in Dream Team Euros

Some players seem to save their best form for international tournaments.

Ivan Perisic (£3.5m) is one such player.

The Croatian winger has scored nine goals in 14 tournament games since 2014.

  • Two goals at the 2014 World Cup
  • Two goals at Euro 2016
  • Three goals at the 2018 World Cup
  • Two goals (and counting) at Euro 2020

A man for the big stage

dream team
A man for the big stage

After a subdued opening against England, Perisic has come to life at Euro 2020 with goals against Czech Republic and Scotland to give his side a relatively favourable draw against in the round of 16 against the runners-up from Group E – to be decided today.

The 32-year-old was named Star Man in both of Croatia’s more positive group results to give him an overall points tally of 28 in Dream Team Euros, making him the best midfielder in the game at the time of writing.

Kevin De Bruyne, Gini Wijnaldum and Manuel Locatelli are the only other midfielders with 20+ points at this stage.

With an ownership of just 4.4%, Perisic has produced for a small percentage of gaffers to emerge as arguably the standout differential player of the group stages.

Croatia went about their business quietly in Group D with two relatively unassuming performances before they outclassed Andy Robertson and co at Hampden Park – that Luka Modric goal really was a thing of beauty.

A double act you can never write-off

A double act you can never write-off

There are still questions about their ageing squad – Mateo Kovacic is the only midfielder who has shown persistent energetic intent with many of his team-mates preferring a more languid approach.

Results in the last 18 months suggest the semi-finals are beyond Croatia’s reach but the draw could grant them a spot in the quarter-finals and with Perisic seemingly channelling his tournament superpower, who knows what they could achieve.

In terms of Dream Team Euros, the ship may have already sailed as Perisic is unlikely to extend his Star Man streak further but there is certainly enough evidence to justify his inclusion for the round of 16.