Robert Kovač

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Robert Kovač
Robert Kovac.jpg
Kovač with Borussia Dortmund in 2007
Personal information
Full name Robert Kovač[1]
Date of birth (1974-04-06) 6 April 1974 (age 48)[1]
Place of birth West Berlin, West Germany
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Centre-back
Youth career
1980–1986 Rapide Wedding
1986–1991 Hertha Zehlendorf
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Hertha Zehlendorf 112 (12)
1995–1996 1. FC Nürnberg 33 (1)
1996–2001 Bayer Leverkusen 127 (1)
2001–2005 Bayern Munich 94 (1)
2005–2007 Juventus 35 (1)
2007–2008 Borussia Dortmund 26 (0)
2009–2010 Dinamo Zagreb 22 (0)
Total 449 (16)
National team
1999–2009 Croatia 84 (0)
Teams managed
2012–2013 Croatia U21 (assistant)
2013–2015 Croatia (assistant)
2016–2018 Eintracht Frankfurt (assistant)
2018–2019 Bayern Munich (assistant)
2020–2022 AS Monaco (assistant)
2022– VfL Wolfsburg (assistant)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Robert Kovač (Croatian pronunciation: [rǒbert kǒʋaːtʃ, - kô-];[2][3] born 6 April 1974) is a Croatian professional football manager and former player who played as a centre-back. He was known for his ability with the ball and skill at dispossessing opponents.[4] His older brother is football manager and former player Niko.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Kovač started his career in lower league clubs Rapide Wedding and Hertha Zehlendorf before making his Bundesliga debut with 1. FC Nürnberg in 1995. Regularly featuring in the first–eleven, Kovač attracted much attention to himself and was signed at the end of the season by Leverkusen.

Bayer Leverkusen[edit]

He spent the next five seasons in Leverkusen[5] without any significant success, as the club did not win any trophy during that period, although they were three times Bundesliga runners–up.

Bayern Munich[edit]

After his contract expired he went to join reigning champions of 2000–01 season and UEFA Champions League title holders, Bayern Munich. In four seasons with Bayern he won two Bundesliga titles, two German Cup titles and the 2001 Intercontinental Cup.

Juventus[edit]

On 15 July 2005, he signed for Juventus. He was one of the few first–team players that decided to stay in Juve following its demotion to Serie B. He made a total of 35 appearances and scored one goal before he moved back to Germany, this time for Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund[edit]

On 1 August 2007, he signed for Borussia Dortmund, alongside another Croatian national team star, Mladen Petrić, who signed for the club two months earlier. Kovač had an unsuccessful comeback to the Bundesliga and was sold to Dinamo Zagreb at the winter transfer window of 2008–09 season.

Dinamo Zagreb[edit]

On 29 January 2009, close to the January transfer window deadline, he signed 1 and a half year contract with Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb.[6] The club previously tried to sign him in the summer of 2007, but failed to meet his demands.[7] Borussia Dortmund were compensated with €450,000. In his debut season Kovač made 12 appearances in the league and two more in Croatian Cup. He started the 2009–10 season with a foot injury and missed all of Dinamo's matches in July and August, but returned to action at the start of the September.[8] Kovač finished the season with a total of 22 appearances for Dinamo in all competitions, before it was officially announced on 1 June 2010 that he retired from active football.[9]

International career[edit]

Kovač represented Croatia in two World Cups, 2002 and 2006, and has also participated at two European Championships, 2004 and 2008.[10] At World Cup 2006 he played well in defence, however after picking up a second yellow against Japan he missed the final group match against Australia through suspension. Without Kovač, Croatia struggled in defence with his replacement Tomas committing handball for Australia's first goal via penalty kick. Croatia eventually drew 2–2 with Australia but were eliminated from the tournament. With Croatia, Leverkusen, and Bayern, Kovač was teammates with his older brother Niko Kovač. He retired from the national team in the fall of 2009, having captained the team after his brother's retirement in 2008. His final international was an October 2009 World Cup qualification match away against Kazakhstan.[11]

Coaching career[edit]

On 21 January 2013, Igor Štimac, the head coach of the Croatia national football team, announced that Kovač, alongside his older brother Niko, would take over as the Croatia national under-21 football team head coach.[12] From October 2013 until September 2015, he was also an assistant manager to his brother, then the head coach of the Croatia senior team.[13]

On 1 July 2018, he became the assistant manager of Bayern Munich.[14] Robert's older brother, Niko, brought Robert with him to Bayern when he took over as the manager of the club. On 3 November 2019, he and his older brother parted ways with the club.[15]

In July 2020, Kovač joined AS Monaco as assistant coach, with Niko serving as manager.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Kovač, along with his older brother Niko, was born in Berlin to a family of Bosnian Croat immigrants from Livno. He is married to a former Croatian model and Miss World 1995 first runner-up, Anica Kovač.[17]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 13 September 2009[18][19][20][21][22]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
1991–92 Hertha Zehlendorf NOFV-Oberliga Mitte 27 1 27 1
1992–93 29 2 29 2
1993–94 32 5 32 5
1994–95 Regionalliga North-east 24 4 24 4
1995–96 Nürnberg 2. Bundesliga 33 1 1 0 34 1
1996–97 Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga 13 0 13 0
1997–98 25 0 25 0
1998–99 31 0 31 0
1999–00 27 1 1 0 2 0 30 1
2000–01 31 0 1 0 32 0
2001–02 Bayern Munich 29 0 8 0 31 0
2002–03 24 0 1 0 1 0 5 0 31 0
2003–04 19 0 1 0 7 0 27 0
2004–05 22 0 3 0 8 0 33 0
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2005–06 Juventus Serie A 18 1 4 0 22 1
2006–07 Serie B 17 0 0 0 17 0
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
2007–08 Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 22 0 5 0 0 0 27 0
2008–09 4 0 2 0 1 0 7 0
Croatia League Croatian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2008–09 Dinamo Zagreb Prva HNL 12 0 2 0 0 0 14 0
2009–10 8 0 0 0 6 0 14 0
Total Germany 392 14 13 0 3 0 31 0 439 14
Italy 35 1 4 0 39 1
Croatia 13 0 2 0 0 0 15 0
Career total 440 3 15 0 3 0 35 0 493 15

Honours[edit]

Bayern Munich

Juventus

Dinamo Zagreb

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "2006 FIFA World Cup Germany List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Ròbert". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Ròbert
  3. ^ "kòvati". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Kòvāč (Kȍvāč)
  4. ^ "Player Profile - World Cup 2002". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  5. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (7 June 2018). "Roberto Kovač - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Robert Kovač u Dinamu" (in Croatian). nk-dinamo.hr. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Dinamo odustao od Roberta Kovača" (in Croatian). nk-dinamo.hr. 19 June 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Kovač: Opet sam spreman za igru" (in Croatian). nk-dinamo.hr. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  9. ^ Rupnik, Borna (1 June 2010). "Robert Kovač prekinuo karijeru" (in Croatian). Sportnet.hr. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  10. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (7 June 2018). "Robert Kovac - International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Player Database". EU-football. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  12. ^ Štrbinić, Lovro (21 January 2013). "Štimac objavio popis za Južnu Koreju, braća Kovač preuzimaju mladu reprezentaciju" (in Croatian). Sportnet.hr. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Nude photos distract Croatia's Cup campaign". USA Today. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  14. ^ Penfold, Chuck (13 April 2018). "Bayern Munich announce that Niko Kovac is to take over as coach at end of season". Deustche Welle. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  15. ^ "FC Bayern trennt sich von Trainer Niko Kovač". fcbayern.com (in German). Bayern Munich. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Robert Kovac". AS Monaco FC. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Robert Kovač i Anica Martinović najsretniji bračni par" (in Croatian). index.hr. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  18. ^ "Career statistics". Nogometni Magazin. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Career statistics" (in Croatian). Dinamo Zagreb's official website. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Robert Kovac". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Robert Kovac" (in German). fussballdaten.de. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  22. ^ "Robert Kovač". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 18 March 2012.

External links[edit]