Xtratime Community banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,781 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
ARTICLE

Croatia can't afford to slip up


Robert Kovac was born in Berlin and has always lived and played in Germany. But he has never forgotten his roots, making the decision to play international football for Croatia an easy one.

After making his debut against Italy in 1999 he swiftly cemented his place in the side, playing in every minute of Croatia's three matches at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and in all three group matches at UEFA EURO 2004.

The centre-back is known as the quiet man of a highly successful FC Bayern Munich team, which is reflected in his motto "Strength comes from inner calm". But the 30-year-old was happy to talk to FIFAworldcup.com about his ambition of qualifying with Croatia for the 2006 World Cup finals in the country of his birth.

FIFAworldcup.com: Why did you choose to play international football for Croatia instead of Germany?
Robert Kovac: Because I'm Croatian! Even though I have always lived in Germany I was raised as a Croatian, I am proud to be Croatian and I had the luck to be invited to play for them. I waited for the chance all my life so I accepted immediately. It is a big honour to be able to play for my country.

What would it mean to you to play the World Cup 2006 in Germany?
It would be the biggest thing of my career. A lot of Croatian people live in Germany and there are a few Croatians playing in the Bundesliga. Croatia isn't that far away, so maybe it suits us to come here. I think the Germans appreciate our hard work ethic. For us to play in the World Cup in Germany would therefore be a great experience and a great party.

Croatia have a tough group with Sweden, Bulgaria and Hungary. How do you rate your chances of reaching the finals?

We have had two wins and a draw from three games, but we should have had three wins. We knew from the offset that it was a difficult group but we are still confident of qualifying. The results from the next two games will show how close we are to progressing to the finals.

Those games are at home to Iceland and Malta. Would anything less than six points be disappointing?

We cannot underestimate these two teams, but we will go into the matches as favourites. We absolutely have to win these games, especially because we will be playing at home. We must remain focused and make the most of home advantage.

Which teams do you consider to be the toughest in your group?

Bulgaria because they play together very well as a tough unit and Sweden because they play some great attacking football. So I guess these two teams are the biggest threat to us.

Croatia did not progress beyond the first round of UEFA EURO 2004. What has changed in the team since then?

First of all we were happy to be in the competition, but with France and England in the group it was a tough call. We had to play against the favourites in the first round and unfortunately we did not have the luck of getting further in the tournament. The team has changed quite a bit since then. It has become a little younger, not many of the older players have stayed and our strategy is to develop the younger players. And of course we have a new trainer in Zlatko Kranjcar who has more of an attacking strategy than his predecessor Otto Baric.

You have picked up only one yellow card in your first 14 Bundesliga matches this season which is very unusual for a defender. What is your secret?
I try hard to win the ball from the opponent without fouling. And so far when I have fouled someone I have not been booked very much this season. I think the referees have always made the right decisions!

Your contract at Bayern Munich expires in the summer. Will you stay with Bayern or are you looking at other clubs?

The negotiations are about to start and we will have to see what happens. I have spoken to Bayern about a new contract, but I have no concrete news about discussions with other clubs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry if this has already been posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,781 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Zono said:
what a great man :thumbsup:
yup, I love the way he plays defence, I personally think he is our best player and has been one of the most consistent defenders in the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,658 Posts
yeah robert is our best player no question i think he is a world class defender.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
one of the best in the world defender..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,488 Posts
slažem se... sjajan igrač, a bome mu je i bolja polovica za popeezdit :)

nego jel i službeno potpiso za juventus, čelnici bayerna kažu da je juve ponudio veliku svotu i da oni to nemogu pratit... tako da je robert kao već jednom nogom u juveu
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,202 Posts
catholic_PRIDE

ovo je 'english-based' forum stoga moras da pises na engleskom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
Lav said:
catholic_PRIDE

ovo je 'english-based' forum stoga moras da pises na engleskom
Hmm...didn´t you contradict yourself? :eek: :drunk: :shades: ;)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
852 Posts
Lav said:
catholic_PRIDE

ovo je 'english-based' forum stoga moras da pises na engleskom

You mean it's an English based forum if you are Croatian because I have seen plenty of others post in non-English and be allowed to do so. :thmbdown:

PS...nothing in the rules that states that it is an "English based forum" http://www.xtratime.org/rules/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,110 Posts
Let's make it english based. I have seen some games from robert, and he does really play a impressive defensive game. He is one of Croatias key players without a doubt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I feel like were getting a great defender for free, do you agree guys? :D

tell me more about him, what I hear so far(I posted this in the transfer thread) that he's got a great header, great marker but can't play the ball with his feet. Am I right?

He's a right or left footer? I saw that he plays left center back with Bayern.

Most importantly for us, does he have a EU-passport? He must have one if he was born in Germany right?

Thanks :thumbsup:
 

·
International
Joined
·
8,545 Posts
Yeah I think most of us would agree that Kovac is a great defender...the free part is on account of his age though. I think he's a right footer and yes he plays in the middle. He's an excellent man-marker, one of the best in the world.

I'm not sure about the EU passport but he is born in Germany.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69,696 Posts
he has to have an EU passport, born in Germany and he has played there his whole life, he has never played for a Croatian club.
 

·
International
Joined
·
8,545 Posts
I would've thought the same thing but I remember Moggi was asked about him and he mentioned the fact that he (Kovac) isn't EU. Maybe he just assumed he wasn't though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
If he´s german citizen then he is EU member!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top