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Niko Kovac takes over as coach at VfL Wolfsburg



Niko Kovac takes over as coach at VfL Wolfsburg

Niko Kovac should give VfL Wolfsburg new impetus. On Tuesday he was appointed as the new head coach.

Niko Kovac was already a cup winner with Eintracht Frankfurt, even a double winner with Bayern Munich – now he should trim the weakening VfL Wolfsburg back to success and the European Cup. With energy and joy, the 50-year-old takes over as head coach of Lower Saxony for the new season, he receives a contract until 2025.

“I’m a child of the Bundesliga. I have a lot of desire and motivation to start another successful chapter with the Wolves,” said Kovac. The former Croatian national coach is bringing his brother Robert, who is two years his junior, to the Mittelland Canal as an assistant coach.

VfL has high hopes for the duo. “It was important to me that we not only find someone quickly, but above all hire a coach who can develop and bring us forward in the long term,” emphasized Wolfsburg managing director Jörg Schmadtke. The search ended quickly.

Because Kovac, said Schmadtke, “stands for consistent and success-oriented work, and I am convinced that the team will bear his signature in the coming years”. This is one of the reasons why the cooperation is designed for the long term.

“The talks with Jörg Schmadtke and Marcel Schäfer were very good and trusting and convinced me to accept this exciting challenge,” reported Kovac. He sees his new team with the absolutely disappointing twelfth place in the Bundesliga final table far from the performance limit: “The team has enormous potential. The conditions for optimal and successful work are given.”

Niko Kovac: Cup victory with Frankfurt, double with Bayern

On May 15, VfL parted ways with Florian Kohfeldt. Now Kovac should meet the high expectations of the VW Group’s factory club, which always dreams of international places, but recently had to bake quite small rolls. Last season, Mark van Bommel and Kohfeldt were not the coaches who were able to implement a successful concept in Wolfsburg.

Kovac, a native of Berlin, is considered uncompromising. He wants to fulfill his vision of football with his team – no ifs or buts. He had last coached the French first division club AS Monaco until January. His style of play was not considered very spectacular there: he relied on good discipline and physique as well as fast switching.

He won the DFB Cup with Frankfurt in 2018 and won the double with FC Bayern the following year. At the beginning of November 2019, the native of Berlin had to leave the German record champions before he took over in Monaco (from July 2020).

Kohfeldt only succeeded the hapless van Bommel in October 2021, who committed a serious faux pas with his mistake in the DFB Cup at Preussen Münster. The factory club flew out of the Champions League after the group stage before Christmas – in the medium term this should also change with Kovac, but the road is long.