Mateo Kovacic is an Austria born, Croatian National, who plays for Croatia and Chelsea. Kovacic has enjoyed a successful senior career at some of the biggest clubs in the world.
His senior career began at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia. He made his debut in the 2010/2011 Croatian First Football League, at the age of 16. Scoring on his debut he became the youngest ever goalscorer in the league. In that same season he made seven appearances. The next season saw him become an established starter in the squad. In this 2011/2012 season he made his Champions League debut, 17 years old at the time. In the competition, he scored a goal against Lyon, making him the second youngest Champions League goalscorer at the time. In the Croatian League, he made 25 appearances and scored five goals. He also became the youngest captain in Dinamo’s history. That year he won the league, scored in the Croatian Cup Final and won the Croatian Football Hope of the year. He was nominated for Golden boy in 2012 before leaving Dinamo for Inter Milan.
Joining Inter Milan at 18, he was handed the #10 shirt, previously worn by Wesley Sneijder. By the second half of the 2012/2013 season he was starting every match. That same season, he won the Gentleman Revelation of the Year award, from the Inter fans. The next season (2013/2014), Kovacic was subject to a role change, this quote from Mazzarri, the Inter coach at the time, sums it up: ” He is a player who must stay ahead, to take advantage of all its qualities. He has to go scoring, shooting, in the most important and crucial areas of the pitch. He has to play on the inclusion, he has already demonstrated the qualities”. In the 2014/2015 season, Kovacic contributed 5 goals and 5 assists in 35 matches, averaging 1.46 points per 90.
At the end of the 2014/2015, Mateo signed for Real Madrid at 21 years of age. Under Benítez Kovacic featured regularly playing across the entire midfield. After Zindane’s appointment in January 2016, Kovacic was gradually forced out. Not before winning several honours at the Bernabeu including three Champions Leagues.
In 2018, Kovacic signed for Chelsea on a season long loan. That year he played extremely well, helping the club to another Europa League Title. Chelsea had fallen in love with him, signing him on a permanent transfer, the next year. In the 2019/2020 Season, he played a total of 47 matches (3,281 minutes), scoring twice and bagging three assists.
On the surface that might raise speculation but Kovacic’s game is much more than goal contributions. What appeals to Chelsea fans is the elegance in his play, his dazzling dribbles, calm control on the ball, his brilliant ability to read the game and his rare versatility. Mateo Kovacic offers a presence on the field, he’s a role model to our young squad, formerly being a bright, young prospect himself. With his outstanding trophy record, he knows how to win, Chelsea are banking on his influence to take them back to the top again. A leader, a talented individual and most importantly a humble personality, Mateo Kovacic is special, Chelsea’s 2019/2020 Player of the Season.