Even after leaving the Chelsea camp – following the 1-0 win over Manchester City – to link up with the Croatia squad ahead of this summer’s European Championships.
Kai Havertz netted the only goal of the game in Portugal, but it was Kovacic – a second-half substitute for Mason Mount – who set a remarkable record by claiming a fourth Champions League winners’ medal in Porto.
However, the 17-minute cameo was actually the first time he has actually featured in a Champions League final after not playing a single minute of Real Madrid’s wins between 2015 and 2018.
Regardless of how many minutes he has played in any final, at the age of 27, Kovavic has a medal collection that is the envy of a lot of players across Europe.
But not compatriot Luka Modric.
The Real Madrid midfielder also has four Champions League winners’ medals from his time in the Spanish capital and looked delighted to have been joined on the illustrious list by Kovacic when the pair were reunited.
Footage of the Blues ace being congratulated on the success has gone viral via the Croatia national team’s official Instagram page.
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As seen in the video above, Kovacic is presented with a Champions League-themed cake and gets around of applause from the whole Croatia squad before giving a speech.
Upon closer inspection of the footage, it’s clear as to how happy Modric is for the Chelsea midfielder, and the pair share a quick exchange before the latter takes his seat right next to the 35-year-old.
Ahead of the final, Kovacic did admit the experience with Chelsea was different to when he reached three finals with Real Madrid.
“Yes, I played my part in Madrid but not the biggest,” he told reporters. “Not as big of a part as I do here. It is different because it is nice to reach the Champions League final with Chelsea.
“I came here to win trophies and Chelsea is a club that is known for winning trophies. It will be a huge achievement to come here. We have done nothing yet. It is a huge game on Saturday and we will do everything we can to win it.”