Mihael Kovačević

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Mihael Kovačević
Personal information
Date of birth (1988-03-06) 6 March 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth Basel, Switzerland
Height 193 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Nyíregyháza Spartacus
Number 22
Youth career
2006 BSC Old Boys
2006–2007 Dinamo Zagreb
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Koper 1 (0)
2008–2011 Dundee United 49 (0)
2011–2012 Zadar 7 (0)
2012–2014 Ross County 42 (0)
2014 Beroe Stara Zagora 2 (0)
2015 Nyíregyháza Spartacus 0 (0)
National team
2008 Croatia U-21 1 (0)
2008 Switzerland U-21 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 January 2015.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 May 2013

Mihael Kovačević (born 6 March 1988) is a Swiss professional footballer who currently plays for Nyíregyháza Spartacus in the Hungarian Nemzeti Bajnokság I. Kovačević, who plays as a defender, had previously played for Koper, Dundee United, Zadar, Ross County and Beroe Stara Zagora.

Club career[edit]

Of Croatian descent,[1] Kovačević was born in Basel, Switzerland, and began his career with spells across Europe, playing for BSC Old Boys in Switzerland, Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and FC Koper in Slovenia, before arriving in Scotland for a trial period at Tannadice.

After impressing manager Craig Levein in a trial, Mihael signed for Dundee United during the January 2008 transfer window.[2][3] He made his debut a month later in a battling 0–0 draw with Celtic at Celtic Park. He won a runners-up medal in the 2008 Scottish League Cup Final, which was only his second match for the club, after the narrow defeat to Rangers at Hampden Park. Mihael made a further three first team starts before the end of the 2007–08 season.

He made more of an impact on the first team the following year, sharing the right back position with Seán Dillon. Both defenders played approximately the same amount of matches throughout the season. With manager Craig Levein utilising Mihael for his defensive abilities instead of Sean’s more attacking style of play when required. Soon at the start of the season, Kovačević suffered a broken cheekbone, which resulted in him wearing a specially-fitted facemask.[4] Following from his injury, Kovačević was an un-used substitute for the last six matches.

The following season, Kovačević continued his run in the first team. In a quarter final match of the Scottish Cup he scored his first goal, an equaliser in a 3–3 draw against Rangers,[5] the game went to a replay which Dundee United won 1-0. After the 3-3 draw against Rangers, Kovačević criticized Kris Boyd for diving and winning two penalties [6] and hit back on referee Dougie McDonald for his role during the match.[7][8] With the win over Rangers, Dundee United would progress to the final and Kovačević was part of the United team that finished third in the 2009–10 Scottish Premier League and won the 2009–10 Scottish Cup. In another match against Rangers that season, Kovacevic was sent off after deliberately kicking away the legs of Kyle Lafferty. After the match, Manager Peter Houston said that Kovačević deserved to be sent-off.[9] Towards the end of the season, Kovačević suffered another injury.[10] Eventually, Kovačević made a return, just in time for the final.[11]

Ahead of a new season, Kovačević suffered another injury during a trip to visit his family in Switzerland, which left him out for four months,[12] as a result Dundee United sought an operation for Mihael.[13] His injury led to the questioning of his future in Dundee as his contract was set to expire in just a few months.[14] Eventually, Kovačević signed a new contract, that kept him until the end of the season.[15] However, his injury was put out again and shortly making a recovery, Kovačević expected to make a comeback.[16] Towards the end of the season, Kovačević received a red card once again in a 4–0 defeat to Rangers. He was released from the club after spending most of the 2010–11 season out injured.[citation needed]

After not being offered a new deal with Dundee United in summer of 2011, he signed for NK Zadar as a free agent in October 2011.[17] Kovačević made his debut with NK Zadar in Croatian First League against his former club Dinamo Zagreb, in a game which Zadar surprisingly won against Champions League contestant.[18]

Kovačević then returned to Scotland in July 2012, signing for Ross County, having previously went on the trial with the club.[19][20] After the move, Kovačević says the club can stay in the SPL very unexpectedly.[21] Having spent time on the bench for the next five games, Kovačević finally made his debut against - his former club in a 1–1 draw, having come on as a substitute for Ross Tokely on 14 September 2012. Due to the absent of Tokely, Kovačević soon took up the right-back and since established himself in the first team.[citation needed]

It was confirmed on 21 May 2013 that Kovačević had been handed a contract extension as a reward for the fifth-placed finish in the SPL.[22]

On 22 January 2014, Kovačević was released by Ross County.

In July 2014, he signed with Beroe in the A PFG.[23]

International career[edit]

He has played for both Switzerland and Croatia at Under-21 level.

In November 2008, Kovačević received his first call-up to the Switzerland under-21 side.[24]

Personal life[edit]

On 31 December 2010, it was announced that Kovačević is to appear in court after being accused of driving at 104 mph in a 40 mph zone, having driven his Audi A8 4-2 Quattro dangerously and at "grossly excessive speeds" on Dundee's East Dock Street, which happened two months ago.[25][26] After a month of the case, Kovačević was sentenced to carry out the community service and fined him £700 and disqualified him from driving for 14 months. Kovačević admitted driving dangerously and at grossly excessive speeds, having been confused over the speed limit.[27] As to carry out community service, Kovacevic was told by the court that he needed to do the community service in order to an example" to young people.[28] Shortly after the court appearance, The Scottish Sun named Kovačević as Scottish football’s worst speeding offender.[29]

During his time at Dundee United, Kovačević shared a flat with team-mates Andis Shala and David Robertson, while Morgaro Gomis, Francisco Sandaza and Prince Buaben live next door in Dundee.[30]


Dundee United[edit]



  1. ^ Sportske novosti
  2. ^ "KOVACEVIC SIGNING CONFIRMED". Dundee United. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tangerines sign stopper Kovacevic". BBC Sport. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Dundee Utd star Kovacevic faces wearing mask after cheek break". Daily Record. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Rangers 3 - 3 Dundee Utd". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Kris Boyd took a dive to win Rangers crucial penalty, blasts Dundee United star Kovacevic". Daily Record. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Monday's Scottish gossip". BBC Sport. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Boyd went down too easy, claims Dundee United defender". STV. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "United boss Peter Houston of michael Kovacevic actions". BBC Sport. 14 April 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Houston fails to see the funny side of 'comedian' Clark". The Courier. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Dundee United duo all clear for Scottish Cup Final". Daily Record. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Kovacevic suffers injury woe". Sky Sports. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Mihael Kovacevic suffers more injury hell as club tells him he needs knee ligament op". Daily Record. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Knowing club still want me has helped me recover from cruciate injury, says Dundee Utd ace Mihael Kovacevic". Daily Record. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Mihael Kovacevic agrees new short term deal with Dundee United". Daily Record. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dundee United injury trio hit comeback trail in time for Scottish Cup defence". The Courier. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Signed by Mihael Kovacevic on trial Nikola Olujic" [Potpisuje Mihael Kovacevic, na probi Nikola Olujic] (in Croatian). VOX Portal. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Zadar inflict first defeat Dinamo" [Zadar nanio prvi poraz Dinamu] (in Croatian). Zadar List. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "County chance for Kovacevic". Sky Sports. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Ross County sign Mihael Kovacevic and Jon Bateson". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Houston we have a problem". The Scottish Sun. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  22. ^ "Adams hands contract to nine players". football365. 21 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Берое с класно попълнение, швейцарец пристигна в Стара Загора". topsport.bg. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "International call-ups". Dundee United FC. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  25. ^ "Dundee United footballer on 104mph speeding charge". BBC. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "SPL ace's speed rap". The Scottish Sun. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Dundee United defender Kovacevic sentenced for speeding". BBC. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "Speeding Dundee United star Mihael Kovacevic told community service gives him chance to be a positive 'role model'". The Courier. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "Speeding Players League". The Scottish Sun. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Close-knit team can help us prosper, says Dundee United star Mihael Kovacevic". Daily Record. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 

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