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Rebic says Kovac was a big influence on his career

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 18: Ante Rebic of Eintracht Frankfurt controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Allianz Arena on May 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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Ante Rebic played for Croatia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and then was bought to Eintracht Frankfurt by the now Bayern Munich manager.

Croatian forward Ante Rebic has been playing professionally since 2011 when he debuted for RNK Split.

In 2013 he moved to Fiorentina, where he was loaned three times to RB Leipzig, Hellas Verona, and Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016.

The striker was brought to the German Bundesliga by his former Croatia national team manager Niko Kovac, who he says has had a big impact on his career.

“The first reason is that Niko [Kovac] put a lot of faith in me,” Rebic told the Bundesliga.com website.

“I think I paid him back in the best way possible with my performances.”

He added: “And then I just continued to develop at the same pace. Hopefully, I will continue to improve as a player.”

“As I have said, Kovac has been the most important person in my career to date.”

“He pushed me at a time when I was not playing very well, shall we say. We spoke at length about football. He helped me hugely,” he said.

“We won the DFB Cup two months before I scored that goal. From that moment onwards – and from the World Cup onwards – my career was flipped on its head.”

“A lot more people started to recognize me from that point on – but that is normal,” Rebic commented.

“Tactics and defensive structure play a bigger role in Serie A. You often have more space in the Bundesliga, which makes it easier for attacking players.”

“I was young when I was in Italy and it was my first time playing abroad. That was a harder time for me compared to playing in the Bundesliga,” he concluded.