NIKO Kovac, the 47-year-old former Croatia international, who joined after defeating Bayern in last season’s DFB-Pokal final with Eintracht Frankfurt, faced increased scrutiny from fans even some of his players on his position and style when things failed at the start of the season.
But after a tough start to life as Bayern manager, Kovac has engineered a superb run that has propelled the German champions back into the title race.
Niko Kovač was born to a Croatian family hailing from Livno, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. Kovač is also a German national and therefore he was eligible to represent Germany, Croatia, and Bosnia at international level, But opted to play for Croatia, he was the long-standing captain of the Croatia national team until his retirement from international football in 2009.
Four years later, Kovač took over the Croatia national under-21 team and in October 2013 he took over the Croatia senior team following the dismissal of Igor Štimac. Kovač managed Croatia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
After coaching Croatia, the former Bayern Munich player, Kovač was appointed as the head coach of Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016. He made his managerial debut for Frankfurt in a 3–0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The club was only able to finish the season in 16th place, requiring them to play in the relegation play-offs against 1. FC Nürnberg. After drawing the first leg 1–1 at home, Kovač ensured Eintracht’s survival in the Bundesliga winning the second leg 1–0.
Kovač received a Fair Play Prize from the German Olympic Sports Confederation for his gesture of comforting Nürnberg’s players after their defeat.
In the following season after taking Frankfurt to the 2018 DFB-Pokal Final, the second in succession for the club, On 13 April 2018, Bayern Munich announced that Kovač would succeed Jupp Heynckes as manager of the club for the 2018–19 season, with a three-year contract lasting until 30 June 2021.
Kovač is just the fourth former player to manage Bayern Munich and the third Croat to manage Bayern Munich.
Niko Kovac has been chosen by Bayern Munich to lead the club in search of a seventh straight Bundesliga title, with his admirable work at Eintracht Frankfurt convincing the record German champions he is the man for the job. After his appointment, questions were asked if he was the right man for the job.
At the start of the 2018/2019 season, after a set of poor results, Bayern Munich was labeled as a team in crisis and the Coach, 46-year-old former Croatian international Niko Kovac was at the center of it all.
Damaging stories emerged on some German press suggesting Niko Kovac should be sacked due to the poor start of Bayern in the Bundesliga. Many fans hit out at the board blaming them for hiring a promising but untested coach in the hopes that he could become a world coach.
In November 2018, with the pressure of a possible sack building on the former Eintracht Frankfurt and Croatia boss, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and club president Uli Hoeness backed the embattled coach to turn around the team’s poor form.
Uli Hoeness said “Our manager is out of the question, Our team is in very good condition. The team does not play for the coach, but for Bayern Munich and they do it well.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge”I now see a Niko Kovac fighting and ready to change a few things. I like that, the beginning has been made,” Rummenigge added. We will never raise the white flag, giving up is not part of our vocabulary.”
Niko Kovac looked like he was out of his depth for much of this Bundesliga season with German giants Bayern Munich. But the Croatian has turned things around at the club, not bothered by his pressure, Kovac said ‘he puts himself under plenty of pressure to succeed as well.’
Bayern will be looking to continue their fine form next week Wednesday when they host Liverpool in the second leg of the champions league.
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