free counters

The Fall Of Mateo Kovačić

April 18, 2019




Some would call him a late bloomer and ask for patience. Others would simply call him a bust. But I call his situation ‘failure to launch’.



Mateo Kovačić was supposed to be the next Luka Modrić in the Croatian midfield. Not only was that the plan, but Kovačić was able to share the same locker room with Modrić – one of the greatest midfielders of all time – for three full years at Real Madrid, which should have enabled him to build his game.



At only 24 years-old, Kovačić has already had short stints at Inter Milan and Real Madrid after starting his senior career at Dinamo Zagreb. After a lackluster three years behind Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos in the Real Madrid midfield, Los Blancos loaned Kovačić out to Chelsea for the 2018-19 season.



It’s been more of the same in London with Kovačić coming off the bench and never securing a starting XI spot alongside Eden Hazard and the rest of the Chelsea crew. Ironically, Real Madrid are now trying to offload Kovačić permanently and pick up cash so they can buy stars such as Eden Hazard this summer.



Is it Chelsea who is trying to make Kovačić a permanent fixture at Stamford Bridge?



Not even close.



After already playing in Serie A, La Liga, and the Premiership, it has been rumored by the Daily Mail that Kovačić’s next home would be in Russia at Zenit St. Petersburg.



Granted, Zenit are the top team in the Russian Premier League, Kovačić could get so much more bang for his buck if he went to a mid-table English or German side like Everton or Wolfsburg.



This season will go down as a failed experiment for Kovačić. He never got off the ground in London and didn’t even score a goal for Chelsea.



Is his career over?



Absolutely not.



But if he doesn’t captain a successful midfield full-time in the next six months, Kovačić may become the biggest bust in Croatian football history.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 23 comments

  1. BZ says:

    Weakest foot for a midfielder of his calibre I have seen in years.

    You see it alot at the youth levels. Kids with amazing skills on the ball, but will never do anything cause they have a weak leg.

    That said, he is not a bust. Helped Real win 3 CL titles, by being a more than adequate sub for Modric and Kroos.

    He is just not as good as we thought he could be. Zz is his last chance at maximal performance.

  2. Soul Champ says:

    Good is the enemy of great!

    Modrić is immortal and no midfielder from Croatia should ever be compared out of respect for Modrić and fairness to said player.

    Kovačić should have been given the Kroos minutes as the German went from pedestrian to pisda.

    Kovačić was starting to establish himself and then had some ill timed injuries.

    That said .. he seems to allow complacency to come into consciousness.

    Chelsea loan was a bone head move.

    He needed to go some place where they actually needed a CM?

    Chelsea had like 5 guys in that spot.

    Kovačić is still “good.”

    I have seen too many highlights to write him off at 24 years of age.

    I do wonder why would a young professional get married so early.

    Focus on being the best you can be and get married after 30.

    You have your whole life to have a family.

    Money and marriage have led him to mediocrity.

    If I was Zidane I would drop Kroos and Kovačić bring back Kovačić.

    Real Madrid need to spend money on goal scorers.

    Kovačić is a #8 who can link the play and has competed well for you.

    Modrić is tired and needs to be rested if you keep him.

    Spanish midfielders haven’t done shit.

    Casemiro is your hammer.

    Kovačić can be reclaimed.

  3. Rafael says:

    Everyone chill out. Sarri ball has slowed his progress down.

    He is on loan to Chelsea. Sarri plays a robotic style of attacking football. Kovacic has been trying to please his new teacher by trying to play like Jorginho. Which isn’t the best idea. Once this loan spell ends he will find a new home.We will see the real Mateo once he is counted on as a difference maker. At Chelsea he is a simply a bitch servant to other players.

    Croat midfielders have their best years over the age of 25.Chill out. Mateo will be fine.

  4. Razbijač says:

    I think a move to Zenit may not be such a bad idea…..

    The club is currently in first place, and will surely secure a Champions League spot next season. Which would give Mateo some good exposure.

    Also, the Russian league is pretty good. And isn’t this the place where Vlasic turned his career around? So it might not be such a bad place for Kovacic to start regularly, grow, and express his best talents.

  5. Mixed grill says:

    He moved too soon to a big team.Even Modric scores less than he might have because he went to Real. He adapted his game because Ronaldo, Bale etc are more likely to score and demand the ball. What was Kovacic to do? Blast into the box and let loose considering the way those whinny idiots attack one another if they are not fed? Modric is the model of how moving to the right team at the right time makes all the difference.

  6. Razbijač says:

    @ Mixed Grill

    Ya just might be on to something. I think Kova moved to a big team too soon.

    Look at players that played a key role in last summer’s World Cup: Perisic, Rebic, Mandzukic, Rakitic, Vrsajko, Lovren, and Kramaric

    All moved to smaller clubs initially, and used them as stepping stones to develop. Eventually making their way to a “Big Club.” Except for Rebic and Krama, who aren’t even at a “Big Club” but yet have grown tremendously. (BTW Rebic was a beast today).

    Now compare them to Pjaca, Rog, Coric, Kovacic, Halilovic, Radosevic etc. who all made the initial move to a “Big Club” and are now struggling in their careers…..some *gulp* may even turn out to be journeyman (if they aren’t already).

    So the moral of this story is our likely future stars will come from smaller clubs, using them as a stepping stones for success….

    ….And NOT the “Flash in the Pan” guys who everyone is touting as the next superstar, and then makes the big money move to a major club–only to then disappoint.

  7. Soul Champ says:

    Rebić is a force!!

    Lest we forget he was in the wilderness before Niko Kovač got him back to basics.

    Kovačić is the goods.

    He just needs a meaningful role with regular PT.

    Be nice if he could learn how to shoot?

  8. Suba says:

    The only good thing Niko did was blood Rebic into the team

    Kova only saving grace is his age but time’s running out but his first step is to get out of Chelsea and not go back to Real Madrid. I suggest he tries out Germany first before going back to Italy. He would not want to go to Russia I suspect out of his free will.

    He needs to work harder or get better individual coaching in how to get that killer instinct in him

  9. Maminjo says:

    If he goes to Russia, it’s because they are the only team that would pay his salary.

    Kovačić snagged a good contract for himself, so he won’t really be able to go to a mid tier team in Serie A or La Liga, since players don’t make much there.

    Unless you are Bayern, the Bundesliga doesn’t pay too much either. Maybe a mid tier English club can pay him (if they’re interested in him).

    Other than that, he would have to sign with a mafia run team in Russia or Ukraine… Or just take a pay hit.

  10. Josko Coric says:

    Always thought he should be a right wing and allowed to attack not a defensive midfielder. Never had a bad injury who knows?

  11. BZ says:

    Anybody watching Bogut vs Zubac, me neither. Bit warriors are better team with Bogut starting than Cousins. Cousins injury is a blessing in disguise.

  12. Anonymous says:

    24 year old Kova a “fail to launch” or a “bust”, while 22 year old Halilović is still regarded by many on here as a future star?

    Kova may not be fulfilling the potential that was anticipated or hoped for, but he has been way more successful and accomplished than Halilović; who also had immense expectations placed upon him.

  13. Maminjo says:

    Bogut is a defensive anchor.
    Cousins is not.

    People get clouded a bit when they see high scoring players who score 20+ per game, but then allow just as much on the defensive end.

    This is why players like Zubac and Bogut are underrated, and how overrated guys like Carmelo Anthony really are.

    The Cousins injury is a blessing in disguise.

  14. Anonymous says:


    That’s a great comment, so good that I think most here will think I wrote it, but I didn’t.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “biggest bust in croatian football history?” come on Ante thats some shit thinking

    As the above mentioned look at halilovic..even pjaca although he was injury hit twice.

    Maybe kovacic doesnt give a fuck. He has won the champions league 3?? times..has a “hot” wife (even tho shes fake) and is making good doe.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “But if he doesn’t captain a successful midfield full-time in the next six months, Kovačić may become the biggest bust in Croatian football history.”

    This reminds me so much of Ziva Istina.

    How old was Modric when Ziva Istina suggested he was a bust?

    Ante K has stopped short of calling Kovacic a bust, but like Ziva Istina before him, he is suggesting a player is a bust!

    Ante K has given Kovacic 6 months, if he’s not captaining a midfield in that time, he MAY become the biggest bust in Croatian football history. MAY.

    I can name two players off the top of me head whose careers are over, and if Kovacic’s career ended tomorrow he wouldn’t be a bigger “bust” than them.
    I just don’t like to call players bust’s so I refuse to name those players.

  17. Faux Cro says:

    Kovacic is not a bust.

    Poor choice to go to Chelsea like many before him. DeBruyne and Salah come to mind.

    Problem is wages at this point. He will need to go to a lesser EPL team to keep making decent $$$.

    Inter or Milan would be good.

Your email address will not be published.