Niko Kovač (Croatian pronunciation: [niːko koʋaːtʃ]) (born 15 October 1971 in West Berlin) is a former Croatian footballer who last played as a midfielder for Red Bull Salzburg. He was the long-standing captain of Croatia before retiring from international football in January 2009. A defensive midfielder who is known for his excellent passing and tackling skills, Niko was, at the time of his retirement, the oldest player in the Croatian squad and had been an important motivation raiser for them, having captained them at UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2008. He has also enjoyed a high level of top club action, having spent most of his career in the Fußball-Bundesliga. He is the older brother of Robert Kovač