Niko Kovač
Niko Kovač

Full name: Niko Kovač

Jersey No.: 10

Team: Croatia

Position: Midfield

Detailed position: Defensive midfielder

Date of birth: 15.10.1971

Height: 176 cm

Weight: 72 kg

Club: Salzburg


The captain of Croatia since 2004, Niko Kovač is the older brother of defender Robert and the man who holds things together in central midfield with a combination of craft, endeavour and tactical nous. UEFA EURO 2008™ is his fourth major tournament.

Berlin-born, played five seasons with Hertha BSC Berlin in the German second division before joining Robert at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 1996.

First cap for Croatia in December 1996 v Morocco but missed the 1998 World Cup through injury. Returned to become a central cog of the team, starting all three matches at major tournaments in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Scored in final group games v England at UEFA EURO 2004™ and Australia at 2006 World Cup – but both goals were in vain as Croatia were eliminated.

Left Leverkusen for Hamburger SV in 1999; rejoined brother at FC Bayern München and won 2002/03 Bundesliga/DFB-Pokal double before returning to Berlin to play for Hertha.

Moved outside Germany for first time in career when joined FC Salzburg in 2006; Austrian title-winner in first season.

Only Austria-based player in Croatia's UEFA EURO 2008™ squad.