A Korean professional soccer player will play in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar. The main character is Mislav Orsic (30, Dinamo Zagreb), the “top joker” of the Croatian national team. As Korea lost 1-4 to Brazil in the round of 16 and was eliminated, Orsic is the only K-League to play in this World Cup, both former and current. Croatia won 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out after drawing 1-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals against Brazil, the world’s strongest player on the 10th.
Orsic laid the foundation for Croatia’s historic victory with a decisive help that day. Orsic stepped on the ground as a substitute in the 9th minute of the second half of extra time, when Croatia was drawn 0-1. Three minutes was enough for him to show his full potential. In the 12th minute of the second half, Orsic dug into the opponent’s penalty box from the left and stabbed a pass to Bruno Petkovic in the center. Perkovich scored a dramatic equalizer with a left-footed shot. Orsic is recording 2 assists in 4 matches in this tournament, including 1 assist in the 2nd group match against Canada (4-1 win).
Orsic is a player well known to K League fans. He played for Jeonnam Dragons and Ulsan Hyundai from 2015 to 2018. He changed his registered name to ‘Orsha’ when his peers found it difficult to pronounce his name. Orsic, who scored 14 goals and 11 assists (49 games) in one and a half seasons in Jeonnam, moved to Changchun Yatai in China 스포츠토토 during the 2016 season. He returned to the K-League in 2017 with an Ulsan uniform and played another season and a half, scoring 14 goals and 4 assists (52 games). Orsic used his performance in the K-League as a springboard to join the prestigious Dinamo Zagreb in his home league in 2018. The following year, he was also selected for the Croatia national team.
Orsic said in a recent interview, “Going to Korea was a big hit.” It was also in Korea where he proposed to his wife, and where his wife was pregnant with their eldest son. On the 24th, Orsic posted a picture of his two sons watching the Korea-Uruguay match on TV on social media, and posted the phrase ‘Made in Korea’ next to his first son. Orsic’s challenge continues. Croatia will compete against Argentina led by Lionel Messi for the final on the 14th.