March 22, 2017

Short Profiles: Eintracht Frankfurt’s Niko Kovač

Bundesliga Trainer

Niko Kovač, Eintracht Frankfurt.

Born 15th October 1971 in Berlin, West Germany.  His family hails from Livno in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

livno_bosnia-and-herzg
Kovač’s hometown of Livno in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Playing Career

Midfielder.  491 club and 83 Croatian national team appearances.

Kovač began his playing career at local club Hertha Zehlendorf  earning a spot on their first team in 1989 at age 17.  His professional career began in 1991 when he joined Hertha BSC, competing in the 2nd Bundesliga at the time.  After stints with Bayer Leverkusen (1996-1999) and Hamburg (1999-2001), Kovač joined Bayern Munich in 2001 and won the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal in season 2002/03.

Kovac as an international player for Croatia.
Kovac as an international player for Croatia.

In 2003, Kovač rejoined Hertha before finishing his playing career with Red Bull Salzburg from 2006-2009.

Kovač appeared 83 times with the Croatian national team from 1996-2008.  When he retired from international play, as the oldest member of the team, he stated that it was time for younger players.

Managing Career

Kovač coached the Red Bull juniors, the second squad of Red Bull Salzburg from 2009 – 2011.  Kovač was among the favorites to succeed Ricardo Muniz as the manager of the first team, when the job went to Roger Schmidt, Kovač left Salzburg.

In Janurary 2013, Niko Kovač, alongside his brother Robert, took over as head coach of the Under-21 Croatian National Team.

An earlier coach Niko.
An earlier coach Niko.

From 2013 – 2015, Niko Kovač, and brother Robert, coached the Croatian national team, qualifying for the 2014 World cup in Brazil.

Eintracht Frankfurt

In March of 2014 Niko Kovač and brother Robert, were hired by Eintracht Frankfurt in an attempt to rescue the team from relegation following the termination of Armin Veh.

Relegation beater in 2015-16 with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Relegation beater in 2015-16 with Eintracht Frankfurt.

The team survived the relegation playoffs to preserve their spot in the Bundesliga.  After a top-to-bottom shakeup of club management, staff and players, the Eintracht is off to a good start in season 2016/17, in 7th place after 9 matches.

Family

Niko Kovač  is married to his childhood sweetheart Kristina and has a teenage daughter Laura.

A Kovac family collage found on Tumblr.
A Kovac family collage found on Tumblr.
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Richard Koehler

Richard Koehler is a German born sports fanatic who lives and works as an electrical engineer in Austin, Texas. Although he was born in Heidelberg, he's been given assurances that he was moved to Frankfurt, the ancestral home of his family, before he was one week old. Richard is a card carrying member of the Eintracht Frankfurt sports club and is married too a life long supporter of the Green Bay Packers.

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