Why Serie A fans remember Croatia World Cup star Livaja

Marko Livaja scored in Croatia’s World Cup victory over Canada, but Serie A fans may well remember him as the bad boy of the Inter academy who punched an Atalanta teammate.

The 29-year-old completed the turnaround after an early Canada goal for a fixture his team would eventually win 4-1.

He is currently playing his club football for Hajduk Split, but spent much of his career in Italy.

Livaja joined Inter in 2010 just shy of his 17th birthday, going on loan to FC Lugano and Cesena before winning the NextGen tournament – the youth equivalent of the Champions League – in 2011-12 under Andrea Stramaccioni.

The trouble started when he was sold to Atalanta in 2013, kicked out just over a year later after punching teammate Ivan Radovanovic during a game between ranks.

Radovanovic later stated he was shocked that Livaja laughed openly at making his nose bleed with the punch.

Livaja also had several arguments with fans, once writing on Facebook that they were ‘b***ards’, and his last Serie A experience was at Empoli in 2015-16.

His issues continued abroad, famously getting a five-match ban for pushing a referee and kicking an opponent in the chest in Greece, but finally seems to have settled down and is now impressing at the World Cup.

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