Croatian professional footballer Mateo Kovacic (born 6 May 1994) plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the Croatia national team. In most cases, he plays in a central or box-to-box position, but he can also play in a deeper position. Earlier in his career, he was also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or as a wide-left player. As a 16-year-old, Kovacic won two consecutive league titles with Dinamo Zagreb, before joining Inter Milan in 2013.
In 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18, he won the Champions League with Real Madrid. Following a one-year loan with Chelsea in 2018, he signed permanently for the London club. After the 2019–20 season, Kovacic was named Chelsea Player of the Year after winning the Europa League and Champions League with Chelsea. Having represented Croatia at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, as well as the UEFA Euro 2016 and 2020, Kovacic reached the final at the 2018 tournament.
Mateo Kovacic Bio/Wiki
The table below reveals concise information about Mateo Kovacic. It gives you the ability to read through the Croatian footballer profile as fast as possible.[table id=4341 /]
Woodgram presents the full story of Football Genius, better known as “The Prof”. “Il Professore” (The Professor) is Kovacic’s nickname. Known for his deep-lying playmaking roles, he earned this name. He is undoubtedly a mixture of Ricardo Kaka and Clearance Seedorf.
We have compiled a comprehensive account of notable events from Mateo Kovacic’s childhood into his adulthood.
His life story before fame, his family background, and his relationships are all analyzed.
It’s an interesting, if not uncommon, childhood story for Mateo Kovacic. In this story, a lucky child escapes a war-torn Bosnian country.
An extraordinary football talent was gifted to a boy. Let’s begin without further ado.
Life in the Early Years and Family Background
He was born in Linz, Austria on May 6, 1994 to Ruzica Kovacic and Stipo Kovacic. Bosnian Croatian parents fled the bitter Yugoslav war in 1991 and migrated to Linz, Austria, where Kovacic was born.
A smart decision was made by Mateo Kovacic’s parents; Stipo and Ruzica to avoid having their children born in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s war zones. As their first child, Mateo Kovacic was born.
In addition to his two lovely sisters, Katarina Kovacic and Jelena Kovacic, Mateo Kovacic was raised in a Catholic family.
Kovacic’s parents, particularly his mother, were responsible for discovering his career.
Meteo’s mum laid the foundation for his career while his dad was busy working. His childhood is shaped by this memory.
Mateo (aged 6) became a student and ball boy for LASK Linz in the year 2000.
The Snub of Steven Gerrard
Almost every kid dreams of taking a photo with a sports star or getting their autograph. During Liverpool’s visit to his academy’s ground, Mateo Kovacic served as a ball boy for the senior team.
After the Champions League game, Kovacic wanted to shake Steven Gerrard’s hand. Mateo’s heart was broken because Gerrard never showed interest in him. Mateo was left in tears by this.
Mateo vowed then and there to perform hard as a professional, to make amends for the Liverpool legend’s actions.
The desire to turn pro wasn’t just a passing fancy for him. He possessed a steely determination to make his dreams come true. In a strange twist of fate, Liverpool identified Kovacic as a potential replacement for Steven Gerrard in 2015.
He rejected the club offer due to his distaste for Steven Gerrard. Mateo’s early football career story follows his relationship story.
Mateo Kovacic Wife Izabel Andrijanic
Kovacic’s playing ability and potential, as well as his lifestyle off the pitch, make him a complete player.
Due to his success and gentility, a glamorous wag named Izabel fell in love with him.
The relationship between Mateo Kovacic and his girlfriend, Izabel Andrijanic, has been stable for several years. From best friends to true lovers, their relationship evolved from friendship to love.
How Kovacic Met Izabel Andrijanic
Izabel sang in the choir and Meteo was an altar boy when they met several years ago in a church in Croatia.
Izabel is one year younger than her husband. Her degree is in Economics, so she is very educated. She is beautiful and well-mannered, which is why Mateo appreciates her.
Both lovers got married in 2017. Afterward, the couple celebrated their wedding at the Westin Hotel in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb, where they exchanged vows at St Antuna’s Church.
During the summer holidays, both lovers enjoy riding sea boats.
Mateo Kovacic Net Worth
In 2023, what will Mateo Kovacic’s salary be?
In Jul 2019 Mateo Kovacic signed a contract with Chelsea FC that ends in 2025 that netted him a whopping salary of 5.2 million GBP (£5,200,000) per year. We have crunched the numbers, this means he earns £14,286 per day and £595 per hour![table id=4342 /]
His stock is on the rise thanks to his performances on the pitch. Mateo Kovacic has an estimated net worth of around 28 million euros (24.6 million pounds), and his market value is about $46.20 million.
Mateo Kovacic FIFA 22 Stats – Potential And Rating
Mateo Kovacic is a 29-year-old central midfielder for Chelsea FC. In FIFA 22, he has an overall rating of 84 with an 84 potential. According to his skillmoves rating, Kovacic has a 4-star rating.[table id=4343 /]
His right foot is the one he prefers to use when shooting. He has a high/high work rate. According to our database, Kovacic is 178 cm tall and weighs 80 kg. Mateo Kovacic plays with the number 8 at the moment.
- During his early years, Kovacic played at the LASK Linz academy.
- The Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb scouted Kovacic when he was 13 years old, but his family chose to move to Zagreb instead, where he joined their academy. Ajax, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Bayern Munich were scouting him at that time, but he chose to join the Dinamo Zagreb academy.
- On 31 May 2010, Kovacic returned to the pitch after a lengthy recovery from a serious leg injury, appearing in the final match of the Croatian under-17 academy league, a friendly 5–0 win against RNK Split.
- In October 2010, Kovacic began training with the club’s senior squad under Vahid Halilhodzic, but also played academy league matches for the club.
- A local sports media report stated later that month that Arsenal’s chief scout, Steve Rowley, had arrived in Zagreb to watch him play against Cibalia and Zagreb under-17 matches.
- In Dinamo’s 6–0 win over Hrvatski Dragovoljac on 20 November 2010, Kovacic made his professional league debut, scoring Dinamo’s fourth goal.
- His 16 years and 198 days made him the youngest goalscorer in league history, breaking Dino Spehar’s record set a week earlier when he scored for Osijek aged 16 years and 278 days.
- Dinamo Zagreb won the league title in his first senior season with 7 appearances.
- The 2011–12 season saw Kovacic gradually establish himself as a regular first-team player.
- He primarily played as a left midfielder in the 4–2–3–1 formation.
- For the first time in 12 years, he helped the team reach the Champions League group stage at the start of the season.
- In Dinamo’s first game against Real Madrid, being only 17 years old, he started as a starter.
- Dinamo finished its first European season with a goal against Lyon in Zagreb, making him the second youngest Champions League goalscorer ever.
- As a regular starter in the domestic league, he played 25 matches and scored five goals.
- He took over the captaincy from Leandro Cufre during a league match against Lucko.
- Dinamo won their seventh consecutive league title that season after he appeared in 32 domestic league and cup matches.
- The Croatian Cup Final was also won by Osijek at Stadion Maksimir, in which he scored a goal.
- Croatian Football Hope of the Year 2011 was awarded to him in December.
- During the club’s qualifying run for the Champions League in 2012–13, he suffered a metatarsal bone injury.
- After returning, he played in Dinamo’s Champions League opener against Porto.
- As part of Dinamo Zagreb’s group stage play, Kovacic played in all six games against Porto, Paris Saint-Germain, and Dynamo Kyiv in 2012–13.
- During the first half of the season, he continued to impress with his mature performances.
- He was nominated in October 2012 for Golden Boy, an award given by sports journalists to the most impressive young player from Europe.
- Dinamo’s board told reporters during the season’s winter break that they are building a new team around Kovacic and another rising star, Alen Halilovic.
- Kovacic, however, was unexpectedly sold to Inter Milan on 30 January 2013.
- As a Dinamo player, Kovacic won two league titles and two Croatian Cup titles, as well as 12 appearances in the Champions League.
Mateo Kovacic At Inter Milan
Kovacic transferred to Inter Milan on 31 January 2013. Inter were reportedly to pay €11 million upfront and €4 million when and if they qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
When Kovacic arrived, Wesley Sneijder’s number 10 shirt was handed to him.
- On 3 February, Kovacic made his Inter Milan debut as a half-time substitute in a Serie A match against Siena.
- Kovacic made his European debut against CFR Cluj at San Siro on 14 February.
- In the 89th minute, he was substituted off and given standing ovations after providing the winning assist for Rodrigo Palacio.
- As Inter progressed to the next round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League, he also played the full 90 minutes away from CFR Cluj.
- As Inter lost 1–4 at Fiorentina in the next round of Serie A, Kovacic made his first league start.
- Tottenham Hotspur was Inter’s opponent in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
- The next round required a 4–0 win in Milan after a 3–0 loss in London.
- Kovacic started the match as Inter won 4–1 after extra time.
- His composure and playmaking ability earned him ovations once again.
- He was described as a “star for the future” by former Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni.
- Kovacic started his first Derby d’Italia against Juventus at San Siro on 30 March.
- Kovacic started the action that led to Rodrigo Palacio’s 1–1 equalizer in Juventus’ 1–2 win.
- As a starter, Kovacic provided an assist for Ricky Alvarez’s goal in Inter’s 3–4 loss to Atalanta at San Siro, as well as their 0–2 away win over Sampdoria.
- In the second half of the season, he started all of Inter’s Serie A matches, as the club finished ninth.
- Inter fans awarded him the “Gentleman Revelation of the Year” award in May.
- Injuries kept Kovacic out of preseason training, and he made his return just days before his first match of the season against Cittadella at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
- Kovacic was hinted at a new role on the pitch by Inter manager Walter Mazzarri during pre-season interviews.
- Mateo played regularly in the first half of the season, although he struggled to adjust to his new role.
- Kovacic assisted Yuto Nagatomo in the match against Livorno, his first of the season.
- Under manager Andrea Stramaccioni, Kovacic did not start regularly during the 2013–14 season.
- Only eight times did he play the entire 90 minutes in 32 Serie A games.
- Mazzarri’s first choice in the midfield in Inter’s last six matches gave him a chance to regain confidence towards the end of the season.
- Kovacic contributed three assists in Lazio’s 4–1 win over Javier Zanetti on 10 May.
- A contract extension was offered to Kovacic in September 2014, after he was subjected to persistent transfer speculation over the summer.
- On 28 August, he scored a hat-trick against Stjarnan in the second leg of the Europa League play-off round.
- In Inter’s 7–0 win over Sassuolo on 14 September 2014, he scored his first league goal and assisted twice.
- In a 1–1 draw with Palermo, he scored the club’s only goal.
- Additionally, he scored a wonder goal in a 2–2 draw against Lazio and a 2–0 win against Chievo.
- He was sent off for a foul on Stephan Lichtsteiner in a 1–1 draw with Juventus on 6 January 2015. Kovacic renewed his Inter contract until June 2019 three days later.
Mateo Kovacic With Real Madrid
- As a result of Financial Fair Play regulations, Inter had to sell Kovacic to Real Madrid on 16 August 2015.
- The club announced two days later that Kovacic had signed a six-year contract.
- According to Inter’s financial filing, the transfer fee was €29 million.
- Real Madrid unveiled Kovacic as their new player on 19 August at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, wearing the number 16 shirt.
- After Robert Prosinecki, Davor Suker, Robert Jarni, and Luka Modric, Kovacic became Real Madrid’s fifth Croatian player.
- As Real Madrid started the Liga season with a goalless draw at promoted Sporting de Gijon, he made his debut as a 70th-minute substitute for Isco. On 8 December 2015, he scored his first goal in an 8–0 win against Malmo FF.
- Kovacic was sent off for a foul on Joao Cancelo in a 2–2 draw at Valencia on 3 January 2016.
- A total of 34 appearances were made by him during his first season with Los Blancos.
- His use in almost every midfield position was quite frequent by then Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez in the opening months of the season.
- Following Zidane’s replacement of Benítez in early January, Kovacic’s appearances became increasingly infrequent.
- Kovacic was left out of the Frenchman’s starting 11 since he preferred a very defined starting 11 instead of specific lineups for specific opponents.
- Real Madrid won the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League with eight appearances and one goal by him.
- In a 3–0 win over Real Sociedad, Kovacic scored his first Liga goal.
- During the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League and La Liga, he played part-time.
- As Madrid won their third consecutive UEFA Champions League title and 13th overall, Kovacic made six appearances.
Mateo Kovacic Transfer To Chelsea
- Kovacic joined Chelsea on a one-year loan on 8 August 2018.
- He appeared as a second-half substitute in a 3–2 home win against Arsenal on 18 August.
- On 29 May 2019, he started for Chelsea in the 2019 UEFA Europa League Final in Baku, playing until the 78th minute before being replaced by Ross Barkley.
- Kovacic signed a five-year contract with Chelsea on 1 July.
- Frank Lampard turned him into one of Chelsea’s most important players after a disappointing season under Maurizio Sarri.
- Against Valencia in the Champions League, Kovacic scored his first goal for Chelsea on 27 November.
- After a 1–3 loss to Everton on 7 December, he scored his first Premier League goal.
- As Chelsea lost 2–1 to Arsenal in the 2020 FA Cup Final on 1 August 2020, he was controversially sent off for a soft challenge on Granit Xhaka.
- His award as Chelsea Player of the Year was announced on 25 August.
- Chelsea won 6–0 at home against Barnsley in the third round of the EFL Cup on 23 September 2020, marking Kovacic’s 100th appearance for the club.
- Following the appointment of new manager Thomas Tuchel, Kovacic has regained his form from the previous season.
- After sustaining a tendon injury before the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Porto, Kovacic missed Chelsea’s 3–1 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in the semi-final.
- Kovacic, who had previously won three Champions Leagues, played in Chelsea’s Champions League Final against Manchester City in the 80th minute, despite having previously won three Champions Leagues.
- The club legend Frank Lampard wore the number 8 shirt most prominently during the 2021–22 season when Kovacic switched from his number 17 shirt.
- In a 3–0 win over Aston Villa on 11 September 2021, he assisted Romelu Lukaku and scored.
- Upon recovering from a training injury in early December, Kovacic tested positive for COVID-19.
- Against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 19 December, he returned to the team.
- Chelsea was two goals down when he scored Chelsea’s first goal in a 2–2 home draw with Liverpool on 2 January 2022.
- For this goal, he won the Premier League Goal of the Month and Chelsea Goal of the Season awards.
- In the FA Cup, Kovacic led Chelsea to a 5–1 victory over Chesterfield six days later.
- At various youth levels, Kovacic played for the Croatian national team, making his debut against Slovakia in May 2008.
- He has been a regular member of Croatia’s under-19 and under-21 teams since 2011.
- Due to an injury, Kovacic was unable to play in the Croatian senior team match against Switzerland in August 2012.
Mateo Kovacic In 2014 FIFA World Cup
- He was then called up to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.
- At the 22 March 2013 qualifier against Serbia, he played alongside Luka Modric instead of the regular team starter, Ognjen Vukojevic.
- In a 1–2 victory over Wales four days later, he came on as a second-half substitute.
- As a result of a string of good chances, Croatia was unable to score in their third match of the campaign, facing Scotland in Zagreb in June.
- As Croatia reached the FIFA World Cup play-offs by taking only one point from its last four qualifiers, Kovacic made two more competitive appearances for Croatia.
- It was Kovacic who started the second and decisive leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup play-off against Iceland in Zagreb, even though he did not take part in the scoreless first leg. Kovacic provided an assist for the team’s second goal, making it 2–0 on aggregate as they reached the finals.
- Niko Kovacic announced Kovacic as a member of his World Cup squad on 2 June 2014.
- As a starter, he played 60 minutes for Croatia during the opening match of the World Cup, a 3–1 defeat to Brazil at the Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo.
- As Croatia was eliminated in the group stage, he played all the remaining games.
- During his 20th appearance for the team, he scored his first international goal against Gibraltar on 7 June 2015.
Mateo Kovacic In 2018 FIFA World Cup
- A 23-man squad including Kovacic was named by Zlatko Dalic on 4 June 2018.
- Croatia won their second group stage match of the tournament 3–0 thanks to an assist from Kovacic to Ivan Rakitic.
- On 15 July, Croatia lost the final 4–2 to France.
- Croatia lost 6–0 to Spain away and drew 0-0 with England at home in its Nations League matches against Spain and England, respectively.
- He played a key role in Croatia’s successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
- As Andrej Kramaric was positioned offside, his goal would have been disallowed in a 2–1 win over Wales on 8 June 2019.
- Kovacic was controversially injured by Ben Davies in the build-up to Wales’ goal in the return leg on 13 October.
Mateo Kovacic In 2020–21 Nations League
- The national team’s inefficiency was heavily criticized during the 2020–21 Nations League, especially after Kovacic made an error that resulted in Dejan Kulusevski scoring Croatia’s opening goal against Sweden on 14 November 2020, which ended with a 2–1 loss.
- As a result, Croatia avoided relegation because of a better goal difference than Sweden thanks to a brace he scored against Portugal three days later.
UEFA Euro 2020
- In Dalic’s 26-man squad on 17 May 2021, he started all three games during the group stage of UEFA Euro 2020.
- Croatia finished as runners-up in their group and advanced to the Round of 16 in stark contrast to their Nations League campaign.
- For the first time, Kovacic captained Croatia in a 3–0 Nations League loss to Austria on 3 June 2022.
Facts About Mateo Kovacic
- During the Yugoslav Wars, Kovacic’s parents moved away from Zabrde near Kotor Varos, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and settled in Linz, Austria.
- He attends church every Sunday as a devout Roman Catholic.
- Croatian, German, English, Italian, and Spanish are his five languages. Among his football idols, he named Luka Modric.
- Izabel Andrijanic and Kovacic were married in 2017.
- Andrijanic gave birth to their first child, a boy named Ivan, on 12 October 2020. He was christened in July 2021, with Luka Modric as his godfather.
- Along with Croatia teammate Dejan Lovren, he made a cameo appearance in Jakov Sedlar’s 2021 film The Match.
- Kovacic has been described as an excellent dribbler and a great technician. In addition to playing in different midfield positions, he is considered a versatile midfielder.
- In his earlier career at Dinamo Zagreb, he played as an attacking midfielder, but when he joined Inter, he evolved into a deep-lying playmaker under Andrea Stramaccioni, deploying him out wide and also as a central midfielder.
- Often doing his slalom runs, he drops deep to receive the ball and then drives forward.
- He was often used in an advanced position under coach Walter Mazzarri.
- Kovacic has been described as a ‘raging bull’ by former manager Giovanni Trapattoni because he can reach the ball from deep and drive up the pitch like he can reach the ball from deep. Kovacic’s pass completion percentages demonstrate that he distributes the ball well.
During his career, Mateo won the Champions League four times.
Kovacic plays for Chelsea and the Croatian national team as a midfielder.
Kovacic’s parents moved to Linz, Austria, before the Yugoslav Wars from Zabrde near Kotor Varos, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, where Kovacic was born.
Kovacic plays the ball well and thrives on quick combinations. In possession, he combines hard work with skill and passes with penetration. In 2019/20, he was named Chelsea Player of the Year for his versatility across the midfield.
After reading his biography, you will agree with me that Mateo Kovacic worked so hard to achieve success. Even poor kids from the slum can dream big and achieve their dreams thanks to him.
It is important to note that his father and mother were key catalysts in his success story. His career life would not be the same without their contributions. They deserve all the accolades for what they have done.
In addition, his sibling’s and friend’s efforts should not be overlooked. As a result of them, he never experienced loneliness or depression during his childhood. Mateo Kovacic has grown into a cheerful youth as a result of them.
Here Is An Appreciation Note For Your Consideration
Thank you for reading this engaging article about the life journey of the Croatian footballer. Hopefully, Mateo Kovacic’s childhood story has made you believe that patience and persistence can overcome anything.
At WoodGram, we strive for fairness and accuracy in our biographies. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below if you found anything fishy in the article on Mateo Kovacic.