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Mateo Kovacic vs Real Betis | Highlights Extended (15-10-06)

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Kovacic had a good game against Alaves with Luka injured he is getting more minutes.
 

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Mateo Kovačić vs Alaves 16/17 HD

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Mateo Kovačić vs Legia Warsaw 16/17 Away

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Great to see Mateo getting more comfortable out there, but in a few weeks, Luka's back baby!
 

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Kovacic continues to grow in stature

Kovacic continues to grow in stature | MARCA in English



Think Croatian central midfielders playing for Real Madrid and the name 'Luka Modric' is understandably the first to come to mind, but younger compatriot Mateo Kovacic is fast growing in stature as evidenced by yet another confident showing, this time in the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon.

Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema scored either side of an Adrien Silva penalty to hand Madrid a 2-1 triumph in their penultimate group stage fixture in the Champions League.

However, Kovacic's contributions in defence as well as possession build-ups were just as crucial towards helping Madrid barely sneak a win past Sporting CP, just as they did in the corresponding home fixture.

Coach Zinedine Zidane fielded his predecessor's 32 million euro signing in a midfield four for the second game in a row, with the Croatian duo flanked by Gareth Bale on the left and Lucas Vazquez on the right.

Clearly high on confidence after a consistent run of appearances in the first team, Kovacic showed great enthusiasm to get on the ball at every opportunity.

However, the former Inter man's biggest strength in terms of passing is his willingness to keep it simple.

This may purely be a side-effect of the fact that he doesn't boast the most lavish passing range, but it's a trait that served the team well in Lisbon nonetheless.

In a midfield four with Isco on top and Cristiano Ronaldo further up, Kovacic had plenty of options to choose from when wanting to move the ball.

But the Croat also acted as an effective pressure release valve, making himself available as an outlet particularly for Modric, who still isn't at the very top of his game following his return from injury not too long ago.

Kovacic's willingness to be a central cog in ball circulation was reflected on the stats sheet, with the former Dinamo Zagreb player completing 33 of his 34 passes in the first half, with all 15 of his passes in the opposition's territory finding their way to a teammate.

When he didn't see an obvious pass, he didn't hesitate to dribble and carry the ball upfield to help his team earn yards on their rivals.

However, the 22-year-old was arguably even handier off the ball, regularly winning tackles to break down Sporting CP attacks.

With a combination of speed, controlled aggression, and precision in the tackle, Kovacic's defending was simply brilliant at times.

Considering that Zidane recently stated that the BBC will start most games, this would necessitate the use of a midfield three, meaning that there's every chance Kovacic can continue to enjoy playing time as a starter even after Toni Kroos returns from injury.

If the Croatian carries on from his performances against Atletico Madrid and now Sporting CP, a certain Casemiro may return from injury only to find himself warming the bench.
 
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Mateo Kovacic vs Sporting Lisbon Away (22/11/2016) HD 1080i

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Mateo Kovacic vs Sporting Gijon Home (26/11/2016) HD 720p

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Mateo Kovacic vs Barcelona Away (03/12/2016) HD 1080i

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Getting better and better every game....

Starting in the Classico...also started at Atletico a few weeks back....and doing a great job.

The future is looking very bright for Matteo.
 

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At what point does he bump Badelj out given the role he's currently playing at Madrid?
 

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I was just thinking about that...it looks like it'd be a straightforward swap but I'm not sure, the roles are a bit different.

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Mateo Kovacic vs Real Sociedad Home (29/01/2017) HD 720p

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At what point does he bump Badelj out given the role he's currently playing at Madrid?
With the way Rakitic has been playing for the NT lately it might be him who should make way for Kovacic.

Kovacic-Badelj-Modric would be very interesting because I think it would allow Modric even more freedom which always leads to good things
 

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Low key was hoping he wouldnt be featured much for madrid and we would swoop in for him and finally properly replace Pjanic.

Glad to see he is doing well though :D
 

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Mateo Kovacic vs Espanyol Home (18/02/2017) HD 720p

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