Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Dejected Kovacic hoping for World Cup boost

03 March 2014, 16:41

Zagreb - Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic needs to get back playing regularly for Inter Milan not only to rekindle his flailing Serie A career but to keep his place in the national team's starting line-up, the 19-year old has said.

Kovacic, who moved to Inter from Dinamo Zagreb in 2012, thrived in a deeper role in his first season in Italy under Andrea Stramaccioni but has struggled as an attacking midfielder this season, with Walter Mazzari in charge.

"I did not expect this kind of situation at Inter because I was a regular starter under the previous coach, while I am now confined to the bench or even less," Kovacic told Croatian media ahead of their friendly against Switzerland in St. Gallen on Wednesday.

"It is a tough moment for me and my confidence is very low, but it's up to me to adjust, work hard to prove my worth to the present coach at Inter and hit top form in time for the World Cup," he said.

Kovacic was instrumental in the qualifiers, having shone in a 2-0 home win over neighbours Serbia and the 2-0 aggregate playoff defeat of Iceland which sent the Croatians through to the finals.

Croatia open their World Cup campaign against hosts Brazil and also play Cameroon and Mexico in Group A, while the Swiss are in Group E alongside Ecuador, France and Honduras.

Kovacic conceded that no warm-up match could be a barometer of what lies in store against the Brazilians but emphasised that the Swiss would be a good test of Croatia's credentials.

"No one measures up to Brazil at this point but Switzerland are a very good side and we must take this game very seriously," he said.

"Gokhan Inler, Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili are very good defensively, while Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka are dangerous when they come forward."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...