After five years as a Chelsea player, Mateo Kovacic has left the club and completed a permanent transfer to Manchester City.
Kovacic made 221 appearances during his time at Stamford Bridge and helped Chelsea win the Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Croatian also earned individual honours. He was named Player of the Year by supporters at the end of the 2019/20 campaign and received the 2022 Goal of the Season award for his stunning volley at home to Liverpool.
That goal was one of six Kovacic scored for Chelsea, who he initially joined on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in the summer of 2018.
Kovacic’s first campaign at Stamford Bridge ended with the Europa League being claimed in Baku and the midfielder played a key role in Chelsea’s triumph, starting 10 of our 15 games in the competition.
His switch was made permanent ahead of the 2019/20 season and Kovacic’s experience proved important in Frank Lampard’s young side, which finished fourth in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final.
Better was to come as the following campaign saw Chelsea win our second Champions League. Kovacic was introduced in the final in Porto to help the Blues beyond Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City; it was the fourth occasion he had been crowned European champion.
That success meant we contested the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021/22. Kovacic started in the victory over Villarreal in Belfast and then both games in Abu Dhabi against Al-Hilal and Palmeiras. Two more pieces of silverware added to the trophy cabinet.
Last term, Kovacic surpassed the 200-appearance mark for Chelsea and helped Croatia finish third at the World Cup in Qatar. He collected 47 of his 93 international caps as a Chelsea player.
A consummate professional who captained the side on occasion last season, we thank Kova for all his efforts on and off the pitch during his time at Stamford Bridge.