Mateo Kovačić is a Croatian-born professional football player. The versatile midfielder plays for the Spanish club side, Real Madrid FC as well as his country’s national football team. The talented player began his professional career as a teenager with Dinamo Zagreb in his native country of Croatia where he won 2 successive league titles. Kovačić later had a one-season stint with Italian side Inter Milan after which he moved to Real Madrid.
Even though he has received limited playing time, Mateo Kovačić’s spell at Real Madrid is adjudged to be his most successful yet in his club career having won an unprecedented 3 consecutive UEFA Champions League titles with the club. Kovačić made his international debut for the Croatian national team in 2013 and has represented the country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Euro 2016, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Mateo Kovačić’s Bio
Mateo Kovačić was born in Linz, Austria on May 6, 1994. Both of his parents are Bosnian Croats who had migrated from Kotor Varoš in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The young Kovačić started playing football at a pretty tender age at LASK Linz, an Austrian football association club in his home city of Linz. Back in 2007, 13-year-old Kovačić caught the eye of scouts from many top European sides. However, going by the counsel of his parents, he decided to join serial Croatian champions, Dinamo Zagreb.
At Zagreb, Mateo Kovačić spent three seasons (an injury-marred stint) with the club’s youth teams before earning a call-up to the senior team in October 2010. On his November 20, 2010 league debut, at age 16 years and 198 days, Kovačić made history as the youngest scorer in the history of the league as he netted the team’s 4th goal in their 6-0 triumph over Hrvatski Dragovoljac. Thanks to Kovačić’s contributions, the team won back-to-back league titles, 2 Croatian Cup titles and equally reached the group stages of the 2011–12 Champions League for the first time in 12 years. Kovačić was honored with the Croatian Football Hope of the Year award in December 2011.
After a brilliant 2012 with Dinamo Zagreb, Mateo Kovačić moved to Italian Serie A giants Inter Milan, a transfer that came as a shock to several watchers. Kovačić put up an impressive form in his three seasons with Inter even though they didn’t win any trophies. In August 2015, in adherence to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP), Inter Milan was forced to sell Mateo Kovačić to Spanish La Liga giants, Real Madrid. In his debut (2015-16) season, Kovačić got regular playing time under former Real coach Rafael Benítez making a total of 34 appearances.
However, his playing time became rather infrequent following the emergence of coach Zinedine Zidane who took over at the beginning of 2016. Kovačić made only 8 appearances in the team’s victorious 2015-16 Champions League campaign and was a part-time starter in their 2016–17 La Liga/UEFA Champions League double. Kovačić even got a more reduced playing time as he made 6 appearances in Real Madrid’s 2017–18 Champions League campaign which saw the club clinch its 13th Champions League title.
On the international front, Mateo Kovačić made his debut for the Croatian national team in an Under-14 friendly against Slovakia. The talented youngster also represented Croatia at the U-15, U-17, U-19, and U-21 levels. Kovačić eventually received his first call-up to the senior team in August 2012.
The talented player participated in Croatia’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification matches and was also part of the team’s squad to the 2014 World Cup Finals. After a not-so-impressive outing at the Euro 2016 tournament, Kovačić’s Croatia qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup where they advanced to their first FIFA World Cup final in Moscow and ultimately lost 4-2 to eventual winners, France.
Mateo Kovačić Wife
Mateo Kovačić is currently married to stunning Swiss-born model, Izabel Andrijanic. In addition to her flourishing modeling career, Izabel also holds a university degree in Economics and owns a business that deals in baby products. The couple tied the knot in June 2017 at the St. Antun Padua Church located in the Croatian village of Sesvetska Sela. The duo had met several years earlier as teenagers in the same church where Kovačić was an altar boy and his wife, Izabel was a chorister. After the official ceremony, the couple treated their guests to a lavish reception held at the Westin Hotel in Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb.
Height and Other Body Measurements
Mateo Kovačić stands at a height of 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm). The Croatian-born football star also maintains a bodyweight of 73 kg (161 lbs). Known for his technical abilities, Mateo Kovačić equally stands out for his versatility and as a result, he thrives in virtually all midfield positions.