Jose Mourinho lauded Ivan Perisic after the Croatia winger played a major role in ending England’s World Cup dream.
Perisic scored a second-half equaliser before having a hand in Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner in Wednesday night’s semi-final.
Mourinho was keen to bring Perisic to Manchester United last summer but the Red Devils could not reach an agreement with Inter Milan.
The United boss offered an insight into why he rates the Croatian so highly.
“Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others,” Mourinho told Russia Today. “Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative.
“But he is also physical, very physical. Fantastic in the air.
“So the way he wins that ball in the air [for Mandzukic’s winning goal] and puts the ball into that space is only possible if you are very, very physical and dominant over defenders.
“So he was amazing by going there and winning that ball in the air.”