Mateo Kovačić (Croatian pronunciation: [matěo kǒʋatʃitɕ]; born 6 May 1994) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea, on loan from Real Madrid of La Liga, and the Croatia national team. Kovačić is usually deployed as a central midfielder or deep-lying playmaker, but he is considered to be a versatile midfielder, having played in different positions and adapted to playing either wide on the left or as an attacking midfielder.
|Full name||Mateo Kovačić|
|Date of birth||6 May 1994|
|Place of birth||Linz, Austria|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
(on loan from Real Madrid)
|2018–||→ Chelsea (loan)||32||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:00, 12 May 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 08:13, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
Kovačić began his professional career with Dinamo Zagreb at the age of 16, with whom he won two consecutive league titles, before joining Inter in 2013. After the 2014–15 season, he moved to Real Madrid, where he has won the Champions League on three occasions. A full Croatian international since 2013, Kovačić represented the nation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including a runner's up finish in the latter tournament. He is nicknamed Il Professore (The Professor).
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, a 5–0 win against RNK Split under-17s.
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 Prva HNL 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.
During his time with Dinamo, Kovačić won two domestic league titles and two Croatian Cup titles, appearing in a total of 73 official matches, including 12 appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
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.
Kovačić made his Inter Milan debut three days later on 3 February, coming on as a half-time substitute in a Serie A match against Siena. On 14 February, Kovačić made his European debut before the home crowd at San Siro in UEFA Europa League match against CFR Cluj. He provided the winning assist for Rodrigo Palacio, who made it 2–0 for Inter, impressing the crowd with his performance, and was given standing ovations while being substituted off in the 89th minute. He also played full 90 minutes in the 3–0 away win against CFR Cluj as Inter proceeded to the next round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League.
Kovačić made his first domestic league start for Inter in the next round of Serie A in a 1–4 away loss against Fiorentina. In the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, Inter was drawn to play against Tottenham Hotspur. After a 3–0 loss in London, Inter needed a 4–0 win in Milan to proceed to the next round. The match ended in a 4–1 win for Inter after the match went into extra time, with Kovačić playing as a starter. He impressed with his composure and playmaking ability, once again receiving ovations by the fans. Then-Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni hailed his performances on several occasions, describing him as a "star for the future".
On 30 March, Kovačić was a starter in his first Derby d'Italia against Juventus at San Siro. The derby ended in a 1–2 win for Juventus, with Kovačić starting the action that resulted in Rodrigo Palacio's 1–1 equalizer. Kovačić was a starter in Inter's next Serie A match, a 0–2 away win against Sampdoria, as well as in their surprising 3–4 loss to Atalanta at San Siro, where he provided an assist for Ricky Álvarez's goal. By the end of the second half of the season, he was a starter in all of the club's Serie A fixtures, as Inter finished in disappointing ninth place on the Serie A table. In May, he was given the "Gentleman Revelation of the Year" award, awarded by Inter fans.
Kovačić missed most of the pre-season training with the squad due to series of small injuries, and made his comeback just few days before the first official match of the new season, a Coppa Italia match against Cittadella at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. During the pre-season interviews, new Inter manager Walter Mazzarri hinted Kovačić would be given a new role on the pitch, a role similar to Marek Hamšík's in Napoli. During the first half of the season, Kovačić played regularly, although he struggled with adjusting to his new tactical role. Kovačić made his first assist of the season in the match against Livorno, when he delivered an assist for Yuto Nagatomo. Unlike the previous season under manager Andrea Stramaccioni, Kovačić was not a regular starter during the 2013–14 season. In 32 Serie A matches played, he started only 14, playing the entire 90 minutes on just eight occasions. He received the chance to restore his confidence towards the end of the season, as he was Mazzarri's first-choice in the midfield in Inter's last six matches. On 10 May, in Javier Zanetti's last competitive match at the San Siro, Kovačić made three assists in 4–1 victory over Lazio.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Style of playEdit
Kovačić has been described as a great technician with excellent dribbling abilities. He is considered to be a versatile midfielder, having played in different midfield positions. He started off as an attacking midfielder at Dinamo Zagreb, but he transformed his game at Inter where he was deployed out wide and also as a central midfielder, functioning as a deep-lying playmaker, while being coached by Andrea Stramaccioni. One of his trademarks is dropping deep to receive the ball and then driving forward, often performing his slalom runs. Under the coach, Walter Mazzarri, he was often used in a more advanced position. Former manager Giovanni Trapattoni once claimed that Kovačić knows how to really reach the ball from deep and drive up the pitch like a 'raging bull'. Proven by his pass completion percentages, Kovačić is known for distributing the ball up the pitch.
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.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[a]||Total|
- As of match played 22 March 2019
- Scores and results list Croatia's goal tally first.
|1||7 June 2015||Stadion Anđelko Herjavec, Varaždin, Croatia||Gibraltar||2–0||4–0||Friendly|
- La Liga: 2016–17
- Supercopa de España: 2017
- UEFA Champions League: 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
- UEFA Super Cup: 2016, 2017
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2016, 2017
- "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players: Croatia" (PDF). FIFA. 14 July 2014. p. 12. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017: List of players: Real Madrid CF" (PDF). FIFA. 16 December 2017. p. 5. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "Mateo Kovacic". Chelsea F.C. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "Màtej". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "kòvati". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Who is Inter new boy Mateo Kovacic?". Forza Italian Football. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Mateo Kovacic: Scout Report Inter's creative midfield talent". Outside of the Boot. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Kovavic il migliore con la Croazia, soprannominato dai compagni "il Professore"". diggita.it. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- Židak, Tomislav (22 November 2010). "Meteor Kovačić: Svi su ludi za dječakom koji je već sa 13 igrao zrelo kao nekad Maradona". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- Cigoj, Mark (2 February 2013). "Cijela istina o Mateu Kovačiću". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- Rupnik, Borna (31 May 2010). "Kadeti Dinama za naslov prestigli Hajduk" (in Croatian). Sportnet. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Mateo Kovačić od danas trenira sa seniorima Dinama: Plaši me nadimak Hrvatski Messi". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). 6 October 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Arsenal došao po Matea Kovačića, Dinamo našao novo čudo od djeteta — Miralema Ramića". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). 29 October 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- Rupnik, Borna (20 November 2010). "I Kovačić strijelac u Dinamovoj šestici" (in Croatian). Sportnet. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Mateo Kovačić najmlađi je strijelac Prve HNL" (in Croatian). TPortal. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- Plavčić, Mario (13 November 2010). "Špehar spasio bijelo-plave". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Kvačić najmlađi kapetan u Dnamovoj povijesti". Tportal.hr. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Kovačiću trofej Nada godine: Liga prvaka je bila uživancija". 24sata (in Croatian). 31 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Kovačić kandidat za prestižnu nagradu "Golden Boy 2012."". 24sata (in Croatian). 20 October 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Kovačića i Halilovića nećemo prodati!" (in Croatian). index.hr. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Taidelli, Luca (2 February 2013). "Inter, Kovacic da 10, Maglia e calcio senza paura". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Clari, Valerio (3 February 2013). "Siena-Inter 3-1, Stramaccioni affonda sotto i gol di Sestu e Emeghara". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Clari, Valerio (15 February 2013). "Inter-Cluj 2-0: Doppio Palacio, ottimo Kovacic, ma infortunio per Milito". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Clari, Valerio (21 February 2013). "Europa League, Cluj-Inter 0-3: doppietta di Guarin, poi Benassi. Paura Ranocchia". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Clari, Valerio (14 March 2013). "Inter-Tottenham 4-1, Cassano da applausi, ma non basta: Spurs ai quarti". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Mondal, Subhankar (18 March 2013). "Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni hails Mateo Kovacic". Sportsmole.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Schianchi, Andrea (31 March 2013). "Inter-Juve. Con Kovacic e Pirlo, precisione al potere". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Gerna, Jacopo (4 April 2013). "Sampdoria-Inter 0-2, decide la doppietta di Palacio". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Clari, Valerio (8 April 2013). "Inter-Atalanta 3-4, tripletta di Denis fra errori, botte e rimonte". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Velluzzi, Francesco (9 May 2013). "Zanetti fa 13: vince ancora il Gentleman Kovacic e De Sciglio i migliori giovani". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- "Kovacic out seven days, will miss first friendly match". La Gazzetta dello Sport. fedenerazzurra.com. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Kovacic to miss another 10 days, out against Hamburg and Chelsea". Corriere dello Sport. fedenerazzurra.com. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Kovacic ready to return versus Cittadella". La Gazzetta dello Sport. fedenerazzurra.com. 13 August 2013.
- "Mazzarri: "Non vendo fumo, Kovacic alla Hamsik"" (in Italian). Eurosport. 11 July 2013. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Mazzola: "Kovacic is still not ready"". Novastadio. fedenerazzurra.com. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Zanetti was the main event but everyone forgot about Kovacic". Sky Italia. fedenerazzurra.com. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- Ibrulj, Saša. "Can Mateo Kovacic Become a Regular at Inter Milan This Season?". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "Inter 4-1 Lazio". inter.it. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Kemp, Jamie. "Barcelona bid for Mateo Kovačić rejected by Inter Milan". insidespanishfootball. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014.
- "Barcelona Transfer News: Dani Alves to Leave in 2015, Mateo Kovacic Bid Revealed". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "Inter to lock down Kovacic and Icardi until 2019". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "Inter, tutto facile: Stjarnan battuto 6-0". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 28 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Mazzarri promuove Kovacic 'Cresce nel modo giusto'". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 28 August 2014. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Inter Milan7-0 Sassuolo". BBC Sport. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Mateo Kovacic scored his second goal in as many matches as Inter Milan fought back from a goal down to draw with Palermo". BBC Sport. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Juventus 1-1 Inter Milan". BBC Sport. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- "Kovačić extends Inter deal till 2019". inter.it. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- "Mancini: "We had our chances"". Inter Milan. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Official announcement: Mateo Kovačić". Real Madrid CF. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Christenson, Marcus; Romano, Fabrizio (16 August 2015). "Real Madrid agree €32m fee with Internazionale to sign Mateo Kovacic". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A. bilancio (financial report and accounts) on 30 June 2015 PDF purchased from CCIAA (in Italian)
- "Kovacic: "Being at the biggest club in the world is really special"". Real Madrid CF. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- "Kovačić peti Hrvat u dresu Kraljevskog kluba". HRT Sport. Hrt. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Sporting spoil Benítez debut". Marca. Spain. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Ronaldo rampant as Madrid put eight past Malmö". UEFA. 8 December 2015.
- Begley, Emlyn (3 January 2016). "Valencia 2–2 Real Madrid". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- "Spot-on Real Madrid defeat Atlético in final again". UEFA. 28 May 2016.
- "Real Madrid 3–0 Real Sociedad". bbc.co.uk. 29 January 2017.
- "El Real Madrid, campeón de LaLiga Santander 2016/17". laliga.es. 21 May 2017.
- "Real Madrid win La Liga title with victory at Malaga". bbc.com. 21 May 2017.
- "Majestic Real Madrid win Champions League in Cardiff". uefa.com. 3 June 2017.
- "Madrid beat Liverpool to complete hat-trick". uefa.com. 26 May 2018.
- "Official announcement: Mateo Kovacic". realmadrid.com. 8 August 2018.
- "Courtois and Kovacic deals agreed". chelseafc.com. 8 August 2018.
- "Mateo Kovacic's individual highlights against Arsenal have now emerged". GiveMeSport. 19 August 2018.
- "Statistike — Nastupi: Mateo Kovačić" (in Croatian). Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Štimac pozvao Kovačića" (in Croatian). 30 July 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Štimac: "Odluku o Kovačiću 'prelomio' sam sinoć, odigrao je za desetku"" (in Croatian). Sportnet. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "Ten-man Croatia reached the 2014 World Cup finals". BBC Sport. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Croatia World Cup 2014 squad". The Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "Brazil 3-1 Croatia". BBC Sport. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Croatia 4-0 Gibraltar: 'Mission Accomplished'- Kovač". Croatia Week. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Modric, Rakitic headline Croatia's World Cup squad". Sportsnet. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Argentina 0-3 Croatia - FIFA World Cup 2018 Live". Whoscored.com. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- McNulty, Phil (15 July 2018). "France 4–2 Croatia: France beat Croatia in thrilling World Cup final". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Kovacic compared with Roberto Baggio". football-italia.net. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Mehrotra, Aakriti. "Mateo Kovacic: Scout Report — Inter's creative midfield talent". Outside of the Boot. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Stats Show Mateo Kovacic As One Of Europe's Best Dribblers". interfanclub.com. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- Higgins, Timm (10 February 2017). "Could Mateo Kovacic Be The Heir To Luka Modric's Crown?". Managing Madrid. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- "Kovačić otkrio Talijanima koga je 'snimao'" (in Croatian). Tportal.hr. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "Inter snap up Kovacic and Kuzmanovic". ESPN. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- "'Kovacic is a mix of Kaka and Seedorf' - Trapattoni". Goal.com. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Rainbow, Jamie (12 August 2013). "Face to face: Javier Zanetti". WorldSoccer. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Mateo Kovačić: Hrvati, uzdajmo se u Boga! Dičimo se svojim i ne vrijeđajmo druge". Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "El vídeo que demuestra que Kovacic habla ¡5 idiomas!". Marca. 7 December 2016.
- "Mateo Kovacic". WhoScored.com. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- Mateo Kovačić at Soccerway
- "Mateo Kovačić — stats" (in Croatian). hrsport.net. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "Kovačić, Mateo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- McNulty, Phil (24 February 2019). "Chelsea 0–0 Manchester City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "France 4–2 Croatia: Line-ups". FIFA. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Individual awards and accomplishments". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- "News: President Decorates Croatian National Football Team Players and Coaching Staff". Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
the Order of Prince Branimir with Ribbon was awarded to Mr. Mateo Kovačić...