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Niko Kovac Biography

Fri 24 September 2021 | 14:30

Alongside Hansi Flick, he is the only person to win the league and cup double both as a player and a coach with a team. In this article, we will take a look at Niko Kovac biography.

Niko Kovač, born 15 October 1971 in West Berlin, is a former German-Croatian football player and current football coach.  He played for Hertha BSC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Hamburger SV and FC Bayern München in his country of birth.  Between 1992 and 1996, he was playing for the Hertha BSC, where he played a total of 138 league matches and thus spent the majority of his playing career.

As a player, he appeared in 83 international matches for the Croatian national team. In 2009, following three years in Austria with FC Red Bull Salzburg, he stopped his career as a player and began his coaching career.

He started his career as a coach in the Red Bull Salzburg youth academy. Between October 2013 and September 2015, he served as coach of the Croatian national team. Starting in March 2016, he was the coach of Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt, where he won the DFB Cup in May 2018.

Kovač was head coach of FC Bayern Munich between July 2018 and 3 November 2019, winning the double of the Bundesliga and DFB Cup as well as the DFL Supercup in his first season with the club.

All You Need to Know About Niko Kovac Biography

Therefore, he is also the only German coach with dual nationality to have won the Bundesliga championship as a player as well as a coach. Since July 2020, Kovač has been in charge of AS Monaco.

Niko Kovac Information

To let you know him more, in this section of

Niko Kovac biography

, we will share some more general information about him such as

Niko Kovac nationality

. Stay tuned.

Niko Kovac Bio

  • Full Name: Niko Kovač

  • Nickname: N/A

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Niko Kovac Physical Stats

  • Weight: 72 Kg

  • Height: 1.76 m

  • Eye Color: Hazel

  • Hair Color: Brown

Niko Kovac Football Information

  • Position: Central Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 10

  • Professional Debut: 1990

Niko Kovac Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 15 October 1971

  • Birth Place: Berlin-Wedding, West Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Libra

  • Nationality: Croatian - German

Now stay tuned to this section of

Niko Kovac biography

as we want to share some more information about

Niko Kovac childhood

and more.

Niko Kovac Early Life

It was at Rapide Wedding that Niko Kovač began playing football. He transferred to

Hertha Zehlendorf

in 1989, making his professional debut in 1990/91 with the third-placed Berlin team in the third-tier amateur men's Oberliga.

Hertha BSC

He joined second-division club

Hertha BSC

in the summer of 1991, developing into a regular and key player until 1996, although he never achieved promotion to the Bundesliga. On 2 November 1991 (matchday 16), he played his professional debut in a 1-1 home draw against VfL Osnabrück, coming on as a 77th-minute substitute for Armin Görtz.

During the following season, he scored his first goal on 12 December 1992 (matchday 25) in the 3-0 home win against Hannover 96. Furthermore, he made six appearances in the DFB Cup.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

He played for Bundesliga side

Bayer Leverkusen

between 1996 and 1999, where he played 77 league games and scored eight goals, as well as seven Champions League games and four UEFA Cup matches, with whom he was runner-up in 1999.

Now stay tuned to this section of Niko Kovac biography as we want to share some more information about his Hamburger career.

Hamburger SV

Niko Kovac then spent two seasons with

Hamburger SV

, where he became a regular and played 55 league games with twelve goals, eight Champions League games (one goal), one UEFA Cup and two DFB Cup games.

FC Bayern Munich

In 2001, Kovač came to the attention of Uli Hoeneß as manager of FC Bayern Munich and transferred to the Munich club. With Bayern he won the 2001 Intercontinental Cup and played 34 league games (three goals), seven DFB Cup games (one goal) and six Champions League games (one goal) until 2003, achieving the double (league title and cup win) and left the club when he was no longer a regular member of the team.

Further Career

In 2006, after playing 3 more seasons for Hertha BSC, Kovač switched to Austria to join FC Red Bull Salzburg, where he was team captain and won the Austrian league championship at the end of his first season in 2007. After the end of the 2008-09 season, where he was again the champion, he retired from active football on 31 May 2009.

Now stay tuned to this section of Niko Kovac biography as we want to share some more information about his playing career on the international level.

Croatian National team

In 1996, Kovač played his first-ever match for the

Croatian national team

and until his retirement in January 2009, he appeared 83 times and scored 14 goals. He participated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups in Japan and South Korea and

Germany

, respectively and the 2004 and 2008 European Championships.

In each of those Euro tournaments' three group matches, he also scored two goals: on 21 June 2004 in a 4-2 defeat in the last group match against England and on 22 June 2006 in a 2-2 draw in the last group match against Australia.

Niko Kovac Profile

Kovač replaced Adi Hütter as coach of Red Bull Salzburg's second team from the 2009 summer break until June 2011. In April 2011, after Huub Stevens was fired as head coach of the first team, Kovač was appointed assistant coach of the first team together with the newly hired Ricardo Moniz.

Kovač was dismissed at the end of June 2012 after Ricardo Moniz stepped down and new head coach Roger Schmidt decided not to work with Kovač.

Croatia national team

Kovač was named coach of the Croatian U-21 national team in January 2013. He was aided by his brother Robert as an assistant coach.

On 16 October 2013, Kovač replaced Igor Štimac as coach of the Croatian men's national team after the team had lost its last two matches and failed to qualify directly for the 2014

World Cup

in Brazil. With Kovač in charge, the Croatian team defeated Iceland in the play-offs and qualified for the World Cup.

The Croatians did not progress beyond the group stage at the tournament in Brazil. At first, the qualification for the Euro 2016 was a great success for Kovač.

They defeated Azerbaijan 6:0 at home and then clinched a 5:1 victory over Norway, but during the qualifying campaign, his team only managed a 0:0 draw in Azerbaijan and a 0:2 loss in Norway. The Croatian Football Federation consequently sacked Kovač on 9 September 2015.

Eintracht Frankfurt

Kovač became the head coach of German Bundesliga club

Eintracht Frankfurt

on 8 March 2016, as the successor to Armin Veh. At first, he signed a contract running until the end of the 2017 season, which he extended already in early December 2016 until 2019.

In this contract, it was agreed, among other things, that Kovač would be able to leave the club for a specified transfer fee in the event of offers from top European clubs.

The team was in 16th place in the table when he took over, the same position they held at the end of the season. This meant that the team was forced to play two relegation play-off matches against the second-division third-placed team, 1. FC Nuremberg.

They managed to stay in the Bundesliga with a 1-1 draw at home and a 1-0 win in Nuremberg. At the winter break in 2016/17, Eintracht was in 4th place in the table, and in 11th place at the end of the season. In addition, he managed Frankfurt to the DFB Cup final, but they narrowly lost 1:2 to Borussia Dortmund.

He took his team to the final of the DFB Cup for the second time in a row on 18 April 2018. There he faced his future employer FC Bayern Munich together with Frankfurt on 19 May 2018 and managed to win 3:1. The 2017/18 Bundesliga season ended in 8th place in the table for his team.

FC Bayern Munich

Kovač replaced Jupp Heynckes in charge of the

FC Bayern Munich

team for the 2018/19 season. He received a contract running until 30 June 2021. Together with Bayern, he secured the DFL Supercup 2018 and ended the first half of the season in second place in the table with 36 points.

Bayern was knocked out of the

Champions League

in the round of 16 by Liverpool FC, making it the earliest exit from the competition since 2011. However, Kovač and his team made it to the final of the DFB Cup, the third final in a row for him personally.

Bayern managed to close a nine-point gap against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in the second half of the season and secured the league title on matchday 34 with a 5:1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. For Kovač, this was the first league title as a coach. Furthermore, he is the only person besides Franz Beckenbauer and Hansi Flick to win the German league title with FC Bayern both as a player and as a coach.

He won the DFB Cup final with FC Bayern Munich in Berlin's Olympiastadion with a 3-0 win over RB Leipzig one week after winning the Bundesliga championship. Together with Hansi Flick, he is, therefore, the only person to have won the double with one team as both a player and a coach.

The FC Bayern sacked Kovač and his brother and assistant coach Robert on 3 November 2019 following a 5-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt. The team were in fourth place in the Bundesliga with 18 points following 10 matches at the time.

AS Monaco

Kovač and brother Robert joined

AS Monaco

for the 2020-21 season, where they signed contracts until 30 June 2023. They finished the season in third place, five points below champions OSC Lille and four points short of Paris Saint-Germain. They reached the final of the Coupe de France, losing 2-0 to PSG.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Niko Kovac biography

as we want to share some more information about his coaching style.

Style of Play

While at Bayern Munich Niko Kovac almost always utilized the 4-2-3-1 system of play, especially after signing the Brazilian

Philippe Coutinho

, after joining AS Monaco as a coach, he has been showing more tactical flexibility and we have seen his team play with many different systems including 4-4-2 and 4-3-3.

Reception

While during his playing days, he was able to establish himself as one of the best midfielders in the Croatian national team and played there for many years, it was after starting his coaching career that he earned a great reputation in the world of football. With so many achievements in a short period of time, the future is very bright for Niko Kovac.

Goal Celebration

As a central midfielder, he has not scored many goals during his playing career. On the other hand, he never had a signature goal celebration. But one that we saw more frequently was when he opened his arms after scoring a goal and ran to the fans.

Niko Kovac outside Football

Kovac has always talked about climate change as a problem. "Our earth will one day belong to our children. We need to be active. This affects all of us. We all have to contribute something so that our planet will be better off in the future. It starts with little things," says the famous coach.

According to Kovac, he and his family no longer buy plastic bottles, only glass bottles. They have switched to LED lamps. And they go shopping in jute bags so they don't need plastic bags. “None of this restricts anyone - and it still helps," says the family father.

Kovac doesn't drink alcohol, doesn't smoke and goes to bed early: At Salzburg, former teammates say Kovac was the most professional of all the players. Before and after training sessions he always exercised on his own.

He regularly goes jogging, plays tennis and golf. While playing for Hamburger SV, he obtained his motorboat licence for the open sea. Furthermore, he is known for being very careful about his diet.

Niko Kovac Personal Life

In this section of Niko Kovac biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Niko Kovac life story

and

Niko Kovac religion

with you.

Family, Children and Relationships

The Croat parents of Niko Kovač had migrated from Livno in the SR Bosnia-Herzegovina, part of the SFR Yugoslavia, and moved to Berlin-Wedding, settling in Turiner Straße. It was there that Niko and his brother and sister were born, of which his brother Robert is also a retired footballer and current coach.

At first, Kovač went to the Wedding primary school in Antonstraße. Following this, he took his high school diploma at Lessing Gymnasium with an average of 2.9 and then studied business administration.

Niko Kovač has been married to Kristina Kovač since 1999 and they have a daughter together named Laura. In an interview with BZ, his wife revealed that their story wasn’t love at first sight, but since marrying each other they are living a very happy life together.

Wherever Niko goes, so does his younger brother Robert - they used to play together on the pitch, and Robert was his assistant coach at Eintracht and Bayern Munich. After Niko took charge of AS Monaco, he once again appointed Robert as his assistant coach.

Niko Kovac considers

Ottmar Hitzfeld

to be among his best friends in professional life - and the ex-Bayern coach is said to have suggested Kovac to Bayern as the successor to Jupp Heynckes at the time.

Philanthropy

While there are no reports of any charity work from Niko Kovac on the media at the moment of writing this article, but as an environmentalist, Kovac is a supporter of the Swedish Greta Thunberg and "Fridays for Future".

Legal Issues

There aren’t any reports of legal issues or disputes regarding the former Bayern Munich football coach in Croatian, German or English media.

Niko Kovac Career Statistics

In this section of Niko Kovac biography, get ready as we are going to share some information about his career stats both on the club and international level.

Club

After beginning his football career at Hertha Zehlendorf in 1990, until the day he decided to retire from playing football at the

Red Bull Salzburg

, he played a total of 572 matches in all competitions and scored 68 goals.

International

For 12 years between 1996 and 2008, Niko Kovac played a total of 83 matches for the Croatian national team and was able to score 14 goals during those games.

Managerial

He has a win ratio of 54.89 percent with 129 wins, 46 draws and 60 defeats in a total of 235 matches that he has managed his teams as of 11 September 2021.

Niko Kovac Honors

As one of the most decorated Croatian footballers, Niko Kovac was able to win Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Intercontinental Cup and Austrian Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and Red Bull Salzburg.

He has also won many awards and titles as a manager, including DFB-Pokal, Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup and was runner-up in the DFL-Supercup with Monaco.

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source: SportMob

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