|Current Team:||Chelsea F.C.|
|Birth Day:||May 6, 1994|
|Birth Place:||Linz, Austria|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He began his youth career as a six-year old for LASK Linz, and then joined Dinamo Zagreb's youth system.
Born in Linz, Austria, to Bosnian Croat parents who had moved there from Kotor Varoš in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kovačić began playing at an early age at the local LASK Linz's academy. In 2007, when Kovačić was 13, he was spotted by scouts from several prominent European clubs, including Ajax, Inter Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich, but his family opted to move to Zagreb instead, where he joined the academy of Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb. Kovačić suffered a serious injury in 2009 in which his leg was broken, but he returned to the pitch after a lengthy recovery on 31 May 2010, appearing in the last match of the Croatian under-17 academy league, in a friendly 5–0 win against RNK Split under-17s.
Kovačić appeared for the Croatian national team at various youth levels, debuting in May 2008 in an under-14 friendly match against Slovakia. Since 2011, he was a regular member of the Croatia under-19 and under-21 teams. In August 2012, Kovačić received his first competitive call-up for the Croatian senior team match against Switzerland, but did not play because of injury. Subsequently, he received a call up for 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification matches in March 2013. He made his senior debut in a qualification match against Serbia on 22 March 2013, playing as a central midfielder alongside Luka Modrić, instead of a regular team starter, Ognjen Vukojević. Four days later, he played against Wales at Liberty Stadium, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1–2 win. His third match of the campaign came in June, when Croatia faced Scotland in Zagreb and suffered a frustrating defeat as they were unable to score despite a string of good chances. By the end of the qualifiers, Kovačić made two more competitive appearances for Croatia, as Croatia scraped into the FIFA World Cup play-offs having taken only one point from their last four qualifiers. Although he didn't participate in the scoreless first leg of the play-off against Iceland in Reykjavík, Kovačić started the second and decisive leg between the two national teams in Zagreb, making an assist for the team's second goal as they reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals 2–0 on aggregate.
Kovačić started training with the club's senior squad under manager, Vahid Halilhodžić, four months later, on 6 October 2010, but continued to appear for the club in academy league matches during October. Later that month, it was reported by the local sports daily, Sportske novosti, that Arsenal's chief scout, Steve Rowley, had arrived in Zagreb to watch him perform in under-17 matches against Cibalia and NK Zagreb.
Kovačić eventually had his professional league debut in the 2010–11 Croatian First Football League away match against Hrvatski Dragovoljac on 20 November 2010, in which he scored Dinamo's fourth goal in their 6–0 win. This made him the youngest goalscorer in the history of the league, at the age of 16 years and 198 days, breaking the record set only a week earlier by Dino Špehar who had scored for NK Osijek at the age of 16 years and 278 days on 13 November 2010. In his first senior season with Dinamo Zagreb he managed to appear in 7 matches, making a contribution in winning the league title.
In the 2011–12 season, Kovačić rapidly established himself as a first team regular. He played mainly in the position of left midfielder in 4–2–3–1 system. In the beginning of the season, he helped the team reach the Group Stage of the season's Champions League for the first time in 12 years. Being only 17 years old, he appeared in the starting lineup of Dinamo's first group match against Real Madrid. He finished his first European season with Dinamo by scoring a goal against Olympique Lyonnais in the last game of the Group Stage in Zagreb and thus became the second youngest ever scorer in the Champions League. In the domestic league, he was a regular starter, appearing in 25 league matches and scoring five goals in the process. During a league match against NK Lučko, he became the youngest player to wear the captain's armband in Dinamo's history, taking the captaincy from Leandro Cufre. It was another successful season for him in domestic competitions as he appeared in 32 domestic league and cup matches during that season, helping Dinamo to win their seventh consecutive league title. He also scored in the Croatian Cup final against NK Osijek on Maksimir Stadium. In December 2011, he was named Croatian Football Hope of the Year.
In the beginning of 2012–13 season, he suffered a metatarsal bone injury that caused him to miss several games on the club's qualifying road to another Champions League. He returned just in time to play in Dinamo's first Champions League game against Porto. Kovačić played in all six Dinamo Zagreb's matches in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League group stage, against Porto, Paris Saint-Germain and Dynamo Kyiv. He continued to impress with his mature performances at a young age during the first half of the season. In October 2012, he was nominated for Golden Boy, an award given by sports journalists to a young player from Europe perceived to have been the most impressive during a season. During the season's winter break, Dinamo's board threw away the speculations about Kovačić leaving the club in the near future by saying they are building a new team around him and another rising star, Alen Halilović. However, on 30 January 2013, the media surprisingly revealed Kovačić was sold to Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.
On 31 January 2013, Kovačić agreed to a transfer to Inter Milan. It was revealed the deal was worth €15 million in total, with €11 million paid immediately and €4 million when and if Inter qualifies for the UEFA Champions League. Upon his arrival, Kovačić was given the number 10 shirt, previously worn by Wesley Sneijder.
The Croatia under-17 manager, Martin Novoselac, reportedly said of Kovačić, "I haven't seen a youngster with so much talent since the days of Robert Prosinečki," referring to his fast development and talent. Kovačić revealed that precisely Prosinečki is the player he admired the most while growing up. His compatriot, Zvonimir Boban, who played for Milan for over a decade, in an interview with Sky Italia in 2013 said, "He has talents that could make him even better than me, he is an incredibly serious professional for someone his age. Kovačić is a complete player. He is not a born regista but he is playing there now. He is a complete talent that can still grow — he has incredible potential." Trapattoni described him as "a mixture of Kaká and Clarence Seedorf", because of his style of play and technical characteristics. Long-time Inter captain Javier Zanetti stated that, with the exception of Ronaldo, who had arrived to Inter when he was 21, Kovačić was the most promising youngster he had seen in his 19 years at the club.
After being subjected to persistent transfer speculation over the summer, in September 2014, Kovačić was offered a contract extension until 2019. He started the season in strong fashion, scoring a hat-trick in the second leg of Europa League play-off round against Stjarnan on 28 August. He scored his first league goal for Inter and assisted twice in a 7–0 win over Sassuolo on 14 September 2014. He scored the club's only goal in a 1–1 away draw with Palermo. He also scored the opening goal in a 2–0 win against Chievo and scored a wonder goal in a 2–2 drawn against Lazio. On 6 January 2015, he was sent-off in a 1–1 draw with Juventus for a foul on Stephan Lichtsteiner. Three days later, Kovačić renewed his contract with Inter until June 2019.
On 2 June 2014, Kovačić was confirmed as a member of Croatia's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. He was in Croatia's starting team for the opening game of the tournament, a 3–1 defeat to World Cup hosts Brazil at the Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, where he played for his team for 60 minutes before being substituted. He went to play all the remaining games in the group stage, as Croatia was eliminated in a group stage. On 7 June 2015, he scored his first international goal in a 4–0 victory over Gibraltar, coming in his 20th appearance for the team.
On 16 August 2015, Inter manager Roberto Mancini confirmed the club was forced to sell Kovačić to Real Madrid due to Financial Fair Play regulations. Speaking during a press conference after a friendly against Greek club AEK Athens, Mancini said, "There are rules that have to be respected. I don't think anyone wanted this to happen but we have the Financial Fair Play regulations to follow. We're all sorry about it: myself, the president, the management and the players themselves." Real Madrid also confirmed the transfer two days later, announcing Kovačić had signed a six-year contract with the club. The transfer fee was €29 million, according to Inter's financial filing in the section Management Report (Italian: Relazione sulla Gestione). On 19 August, Kovačić was unveiled as a new player by Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, where it was revealed he would wear the number 16 shirt for the club. Kovačić became the fifth Croatian player, after Robert Prosinečki, Davor Šuker, Robert Jarni and Luka Modrić, to join Real Madrid.
Four days after his presentation, he made his debut as a 70th-minute substitute for Isco as Real Madrid began the Liga season with a goalless draw at promoted Sporting de Gijón. He scored his first goal in an 8–0 home win over Malmö FF on 8 December 2015. On 3 January 2016, Kovačić received a straight red card in a 2–2 draw at Valencia for a foul on João Cancelo. Until the end of his first season with Los Blancos, he made a total of 34 appearances. In the opening months of the season, he was used quite regularly by then Real Madrid manager Rafael Benítez, playing in almost every midfield position there is – sometimes central, sometimes wide, sometimes further forward. However, after Zinedine Zidane replaced Benítez in early January, Kovačić's appearances became increasingly infrequent. With the Frenchman preferring to use a very defined starting 11 whenever possible instead of the more specific-lineups-for-specific-opponents approach employed by his predecessor, there was little room for Kovačić. He made eight appearances and scored one goal en Real Madrid's route to the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League title.
Kovačić scored his first Liga goal on 29 January 2017 in a 3–0 win over Real Sociedad. He was a part-time starter when Madrid won the 2016–17 La Liga and the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League.
In 2017, he married his longtime girlfriend Izabel Andrijanić. On 12 October 2020, Andrijanić gave birth to their first child, a baby boy named Ivan.
On 8 August 2018, Kovačić joined Chelsea on a one-year loan. He made his debut in a 3–2 home win against Arsenal on 18 August, appearing as a second-half substitute. On 29 May 2019, he was named a starter for 2019 UEFA Europa League Final in Baku, playing until 78th minute when he was substituted off for Ross Barkley, as Chelsea defeated Arsenal 4–1.
On 4 June 2018, Kovačić was selected in Croatia's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On 22 June, Kovačić provided an assist to his teammate Ivan Rakitić as he scored Croatia's third goal in a 3–0 win over Argentina in their second group stage match of the tournament. Croatia was beaten 4–2 by France in the final on 15 July.
Kovačić appeared in Croatia's Nations League matches against Spain away and England home, that ended up as 6–0 defeat and a goalless draw, respectively. He featured throughout Croatia's successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, as they finished top of the group. In a 2–1 win over Wales in Osijek on 8 June 2019, he scored what would have been a goal for 2–0, however it was disallowed as Andrej Kramarić was in an offside position. In a return leg on 13 October, in the build-up to the Wales goal, Kovačić was controversially injured by Ben Davies as the match ended up as a 1–1 draw.
On 1 July, Kovačić completed a permanent transfer to Chelsea, signing a five-year contract. After an underwhelming season under Maurizio Sarri, he turned into one of the most important Chelsea players under new coach Frank Lampard. Kovačić scored his first goal for Chelsea on 27 November, in a 2–2 Champions League draw against Valencia at Mestalla Stadium. On 7 December, he scored his first Premier League goal in a 1–3 away loss to Everton. In 2020 FA Cup Final on 1 August 2020, he was controversially sent off for a rather soft challenge on Granit Xhaka, as Chelsea lost 2–1 to Arsenal. On 25 August, he was named the Chelsea Player of the Year.
On 23 September 2020, Kovačić marked his 100th appearance for the club against Barnsley in the third round of the EFL Cup as Chelsea won 6–0 at home.
Mateo married Izabel Andrijanic in 2017.
|#2||Kurt Zouma||26||N/A||1.44 million EUR (2011)||France|
|#3||Frank Lampard||42||$90 Million||$12 Million||England|
|#4||Claude Makelele||47||$55 Million||$22 Million Per Year||DR Congo|
|#5||Cesar Azpilicueta||31||N/A||7.8 million EUR (2019)||Spain|
|#8||Marco van Ginkel||28||N/A||N/A||Netherlands|
|#11||Olivier Giroud||34||$10 Million||N/A||France|
|#12||Petr Cech||38||$36 Million||$8 Million||Czech Republic|
|#19||Mason Mount||21||N/A||3.8 Million Euro||England|
|#20||Marcos Alonso Mendoza||30||N/A||N/A||Spain|
|#24||Carlo Cudicini||47||N/A||2.6 million GBP (2009)||Italy|
Currently, Mateo Kovacic is 27 years, 0 months and 2 days old. Mateo Kovacic will celebrate 28th birthday on a Friday 6th of May 2022. Below we countdown to Mateo Kovacic upcoming birthday.