Completing his move from Inter Milan earlier this week, midfielder Mateo Kovacic has revealed that he is excited to be playing under manager Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid.
Real Madrid signed the Croatian International for a fee of a 30million from Benitez’s former club Inter Milan. The midfielder was allegedly coveted by Liverpool FC, but a close look at the reported offer made by the Reds reveals that the English side never came close to agreeing on a fee with Inter in the light of Real Madrid’s final offer.
Benitez a big factor for Kovacic signing
The midfielder said that he was looking forward to playing under the former Liverpool boss, having been impressed with the Spaniard when he played against his Napoli side in Serie A.
Speaking to Real Madrids’s TV channel . , Kovacic said: “[Benitez] is a great coach. He has won loads of trophies and for me it’s an honour to work under one of the best managers in the world.”
“I’ve played against his teams a number of times and he deserves to be at the helm of a team like Real Madrid.”
Kovacic credits Inter in helping him mature
Kovacic had signed with Inter for a 11m in January 2013 from Crotian side Dinamo Zagreb and the player said that his time at Inter had helped him mature significantly.
“I learned a lot and not just about football. I matured a lot. Two-and-a-half years have gone by and I’m grateful to everyone at Inter Milan.”
“I had a marvellous time there. A new challenge has now presented itself at Real Madrid and I’m fully focused on my new team.”
On his move to Madrid, he added: “It’s a dream for me and for any footballer.”
“It has come true for me at just 21 years of age. I’d like to thank everyone at the club for the support they’ve shown. I’m living a dream. My whole family and I are delighted to be here and I hope to stay for a long time to come.”
“First of all I want to adapt to the team and learn as much as I can from my teammates. Real Madrid are a club used to winning trophies and I want to lift as many as possible.”