Mateo Kovacic lifted his fourth European Cup this Saturday, but the most special of all, because he finally felt like a protagonist.
The Croatian player, a former Real Madrid player, had already played the “Orejona” three times, always with the Whites, but he could never have enjoyed it on the field.
In the 2015/2016 season, the first in his stage as a Madrid player, he was not chosen for the squad that beat Atlético de Madrid in the penalty shoot-out in the Milan final.
In the final of the following season, the one that Real Madrid beat Juventus of Turin in Cardiff, the Croatian was on the bench, but Zinedine Zidane did not give him entry. The same case as in 2017/2018, when Madrid were crowned with the third Champions League in a row in Kiev, but Kovacic did not leave the substitute bench either.
Faced with the impossibility of imposing himself as a starter, Kovacic left Real Madrid, first on loan and then permanently and two seasons later he achieved his goal.
He left with ten minutes to go, to sign his first appearance in a match for the European Cup. The Croatian helped to endure the last arreones of Manchester City and was finally proclaimed champion dressed in shorts and on the field. The fourth time was the charm for Kovacic.