'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' - this oft-repeated phrase rings true when one talks about the Croatian team which reached the final of the World Cup after beating England 2-1 at the end of extra time.
The team showed extraordinary mental fortitude to overcome the English after 120 minutes of football. It assumes an even bigger significance when one takes into account the fact that Croatia had to play two hours of football in the Round of 16 as well the quarter-final before this game.
Against England, Croatia were staring down the barrel at half-time, having fallen behind to Kieran Trippier's well-taken free-kick early on.
With the team looking tired and bereft of ideas up front, Ivan Perisic assumed the role of the saviour. The 29-year-old Inter Milan winger rose to the occasion and took the game by the scruff of its neck. First, he showed fantastic determination to get in front of Kyle Walker to boot in a cross from Sime Vrsaljko.
He was not happy with the equaliser though. He would have got the winner for Zlatko Dalic's side moments later if not for the woodwork.
Then in the second period of extra time, he would head Walker's clearance back into the area for Mandzukic to score the goal that sent Croats across the world into dreamland.
He was a constant menace on the left wing and provided the inspiration for his teammates to rally and overcome England. Apart from his goal and the assist, Perisic created two big chances for his teammates and accounted for three key passes.
In what was a fantastic show of determination on the biggest stage of football, he was a defensive asset as well, making two tackles, a clearance and a vital block.
Among the Croatian warriors who scripted history by reaching the World Cup final for the first time ever, Perisic was the toughest of the lot on the night.
He is Carlsberg's Player of the Week!