Robert Kovač

Robert Kovač

Kovač with Borussia Dortmund in 2007
Personal information
Full name Robert Kovač
Date of birth (1974-04-06) 6 April 1974
Place of birth West Berlin, Germany
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Eintracht Frankfurt (assistant manager)
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
2013 Croatia U21 (assistant)
2013–2015 Croatia (assistant)
2016– Eintracht Frankfurt (assistant)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert Kovač (Croatian pronunciation: [rǒbert kǒʋaːt͡ʃ]; born 6 April 1974) is the assistant coach of the Croatian national football team and a retired Croatian football defender. He was known for his ability with the ball and skill at dispossessing opponents.[1]

Club career

Early career

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

He spent the next five seasons in Leverkusen 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

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.


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

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

On 29 January 2009, close to the January transfer window deadline, he signed 1 and a half year contract with Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb.[2] The club previously tried to sign him in the summer of 2007, but failed to meet his demands.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

National team

He represented Croatia in two World Cups, 2002 and 2006, and has also participated at two European Championships, 2004 and 2008. 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.

Coaching career

On 21 January 2013, Igor Štimac, head coach of Croatia national football team, announced that Kovač, alongiside his brother Niko, would take over as Croatia national under-21 football team head coach.[6] He is the assistant to his brother, the coach of the Croatian national football team, at the World Cup in 2014.[7]

Personal life

Kovač, along with his older brother Niko, was born in Berlin to a family of Bosnian Croat immigrants. He is married to a former Croatian model and Miss World 1995 first runner-up, Anica Kovač.[8]


Bayern Munich
Dinamo Zagreb

Career statistics

As of 13 September 2009[9][10][11][12][13]
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
1991–92Hertha ZehlendorfNOFV-Oberliga Mitte271271
1994–95Regionalliga North-east244244
1995–96Nürnberg2. Bundesliga33110341
1996–97Bayer LeverkusenBundesliga130130
2001–02Bayern Munich29080310
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2005–06JuventusSerie A18140221
2006–07Serie B17000170
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
2007–08Borussia DortmundBundesliga2205000270
Croatia League Croatian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2008–09Dinamo ZagrebPrva HNL1202000140
Total Germany 392141303031043914
Italy 35140391
Croatia 1302000150
Career total 4403150303504933


  1. "Player Profile - World Cup 2002". Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  2. "Robert Kovač u Dinamu" (in Croatian). 29 January 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  3. "Dinamo odustao od Roberta Kovača" (in Croatian). 19 June 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  4. "Kovač: Opet sam spreman za igru" (in Croatian). 1 September 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  5. Rupnik, Borna (1 June 2010). "Robert Kovač prekinuo karijeru" (in Croatian). Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  6. Štrbinić, Lovro (21 January 2013). "Štimac objavio popis za Južnu Koreju, braća Kovač preuzimaju mladu reprezentaciju" (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  7. "Nude photos distract Croatia's Cup campaign". USA Today. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  8. "Robert Kovač i Anica Martinović najsretniji bračni par" (in Croatian). Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  9. "Career statistics". Nogometni Magazin. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  10. "Career statistics" (in Croatian). Dinamo Zagreb's official website. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009.
  11. "Robert Kovac". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  12. "Robert Kovac" (in German). Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  13. "Robert Kovač". National Football Teams. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
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