Fort Lauderdale champs in Porec Major debut.

All eyes will be on Croatian international soccer player Ivan Perišić at the Poreč Major on Wednesday evening.

The 28-year-old Inter Milan midfielder makes his eagerly-anticipated beach volleyball debut at 9pm CET at the Red Bull Beach Arena against Brazilian Fort Lauderdale Major gold medalists Alvaro Filho/Saymon.

Perišić joined his teammate Niksa Dell’Orco and fellow Croatians Filip Silic and Ivan Djordjovic on the Center Court on Tuesday evening for his first public training session.

The pair stayed on the sand and practised under the floodlights for over an hour in preparation for their opening match of the tournament. Perišić and Dell’Orco have been drawn in Pool A of the main draw and will also take on two American teams in the shape of Brunner/Patterson and Gibb/Taylor Crabb on Thursday and Friday.

“I hope my participation in the Poreč Major will help promote this unique tournament and promote this beautiful sport,” Perišić said in a statement. “The fee that we will receive as a team from the organizers will be donated to the beach volleyball federation to benefit the development of Croatian beach volleyball players.”

Beach Majors CEO said at Tuesday’s kick-off press conference: “Ivan is dedicated and passionate about beach volleyball. It’s an honor for us that he is playing.

“He’s like Speedy Gonzales on the court – he’s one of the fastest defenders I’ve seen!”