Rafael Benitez added another Croatian central midfielder to his squad, as it was announced that Real Madrid signed Kovacic. Mateo Kovacic will have the opportunity to play alongside his compatriot Luka Modric in Madrid. Since Modric is a key player for Real, he might help Kovacic to settle in at the Bernabeu quickly. Since the new acquisition is eight years younger than him and plays in a position similar to Modric’s role, he might be considered as his successor. Real Madrid are top underdogs to win the Spanish La Liga with odds of 2.75 (7/4) at Bet365. They are third favourites to conquer the Champions League at 6.50 (11/2).
It was confirmed by the Spanish mega club on Tuesday that Real Madrid signed Mateo Kovacic. The Blancos pay GBP 22.5 million (EUR 32 million) for the highly rated Croatian midfielder for Italian giants Inter, according to gambling news. Kovacic was signed by Inter in 2013. They bought the player form Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb.
Media reports expect the Milan-based outfit to acquire the services of Ivan Perisic after Real Madrid signed Kovacic. Though experts of gambling facts noted that Wolfsburg-man plays in a slightly different position, Inter might take advantage of the skills of Perisic, who plays with a more attacking mindset.
After Real Madrid signed Kovacic, the Spanish club is due to pay GBP 2.1 million more for Kovacic in add-ons. The Croatian midfielder was also wanted by Liverpool in the summer. However, it turned out that he will join arguably the biggest club in world football. At Real Madrid he will have the opportunity to play alongside his fellow Croatian midfield maestro, Luka Modric.
Internazionale manager Roberto Mancini confirmed that financial fair play forced them to sell Kovacic. He said,“We need to sell Mateo because of financial fair play. We are sorry because he is a good player but those are the rules. Now we can try to sign some other players.”
Kovacic had a tally of five goals in 80 league matches at Inter. He can cover the middle of the park, and is also available to play in front of the backline as a deep-lying playmaker. He is considered as a versatile midfielder, who can adapt to playing on the wings or as an attacking midfielder behind the striker as well. After Real Madrid signed Kovacic, many followers of sports scores expect Los Blancos manager Rafa Benitez to let Asier Illarramendi to join Liverpool.
After Real Madrid signed Kovacic from Inter, the midfielder will join his fellow Croat Luka Modric at the Spanish outfit. Los Blancos gave a six-year deal to the 21-year-old, who follows several other Croatian players at Real Madrid. He is the fifth player who made it to the Bernabeu coming from Croatia.
Robert Prosinecki was the first Croatian, who wore Real Madrid’s white jersey. He arrived at the Bernabeu in 1991, when he was 22. He made himself a name in the Crvena Zvezda side that won the Champions League, and in the Yugoslavian national team before the Yugoslav war broke out. He arrived as a star, but he failed to live up to the expectations as his three-year spell at the club was hurt by several injuries. He left for Oviedo in 1994, and spent a year in Barcelona as well later on.
Davor Suker arrived from Sevilla in 1996. He also played for Real Madrid for three years, but his spell was full of success. Suker was part of a thrilling attacking department also consisting Predrag Mijatovic and Raul Gonzalez. They won La Liga as well as the Champions League against Juventus in 1998, as many of those who follow live sports results might remember. He starred for Croatia at the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well, but left for Arsenal in the following year.
Another hit at the 1998 FIFA World Cup was Robert Jarni, who helped Croatia to the bronze medal as a left wing-back. He arrived at the Bernabeu after the tournament, however he moved on next year. He came to Madrid at the wrong time, as he had to compete for a spot in the starting line-up with a certain Mr. Roberto Carlos…
Before Real Madrid signed Kovacic, Luka Modric was the last Croatian player, who joined the Meringues. He is a very important player in the Madrid midfield alongside German international Toni Kroos. However, he needed time to settle in at his current club after his move from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. In his first season he was considered to be a flop. However he established himself as a fan favourite in recent seasons, winning the Champions League in 2014. Now he is a key contributor to Real Madrid’s free-flowing football.
After Real Madrid signed Kovacic, he became the fifth Croatian international in the History of Los Blancos. The fact that his role model, Modric will be already in the squad might boost his integration to the team. Regarding that he is a very young player, only 21 years of age, maybe he won’t be considered as a flop even after a poor start in Madrid…