World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Mateo Kovacic, the Croatia midfielder?
Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer
Friday 21 March 2014
The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?
With 83 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.
83. Mateo Kovacic (Croatia)
Born in 1994, Mateo Kovacic could be one of the youngest players to grace this tournament. The Inter Milan starlet surpassed all expectations in his first season at the San Siro, nailing down a regular starting berth and winning the club’s ‘Revelation of the Year’ award. The versatile Kovacic can play as an attacking midfielder or winger, but in a Croatia team that also contains Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, he is most likely to feature as a deep-lying playmaker. A superb technician with the ball at his feet, Kovacic was named the second most effective dribbler in Europe last season, behind only Wolfsburg’s Diego. Described by Giovanni Trapattoni as “a mixture of Kaka and Clarence Seedorf”, Kovacic is tipped by former Croatia star Zvonimir Boban to light up this World Cup.
Did you know? Despite his tender years, Kovacic is nicknamed ‘The Professor’ by his team-mates for his cerebral approach to the game.
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