Niko Kovač is a Croatian football manager and former professional footballer. Kovač was the long-standing captain of the Croatia national team until his retirement from international football in January 2009. A defensive midfielder who was known for his excellent passing and tackling skills, Kovač was, at the time of his retirement, the oldest player in the Croatian squad and had captained them at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. He has also enjoyed a high level of top club action, having spent most of his club career in the German Bundesliga, including spells with Hertha BSC, Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburger SV and Bayern Munich.
He ended his playing career with Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, where he then took the non-playing role of the reserve team coach and eventually became assistant manager under team manager Ricardo Moniz. In January 2013, 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, then became head coach of Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016, winning the 2018 DFB-Pokal Final with the club.