Friday February 1 2013
Kovacic compared with Baggio

Former Croatian international Milan Rapaic says new Inter signing Mateo Kovacic once reminded him of Roberto Baggio.

The 18-year-old has joined the Nerazzurri this week from Dinamo Zagreb and Rapaic, a playing past with Perugia and Ancona, is a massive fan.

“The first few times I saw him play there was a hint of Roberto Baggio about him,” the ex-forward told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He can play in a number of different positions. Certain characteristics can’t be changed, but his game has adapted over time.

“He now comes back for the ball much more often than he did, he likes to play the ball.”

The Nerazzurri’s swoop for the attacking midfielder did come as a surprise, also because he cost €11m, but he’s seemingly well worth the investment.

“It’s three or four years that we have been waiting for him to go and play his football in the Europe that counts,” Rapaic continued.

“A lot of big clubs were keeping an eye on him and we all knew that he would join a great side. It was already written.

“First of all, he’s a great talent. A smart player, very strong technically, he has dribbling, feints, he easily gets rid of the ball, but also any opponent that confronts him.

“He plays without fear, because if you're afraid you can not be your team’s best player against Real Madrid when you are 16 – as he was two years ago.”