Leadership comes in many forms. The shouty ones may be the most visible types, the ones that everyone knows. But the quiet ones can be just as important, especially if they do their talking with their actions on the pitch or behind the scenes in the dressing room or the training ground.
Mateo Kovačić would certainly fall into the latter category, and even among those, he may not be the most obvious choice when it comes to picking out the leaders in the current Chelsea squad. But he’s got at least one younger teammate who’s paying very close attention. His name is Kai Havertz, and as he revealed recently(?), he looks upon the serial winner of Champions Leagues as a bit of a hero indeed.
“He is like a hero because he always wants the ball. Even when maybe we concede a goal he is always the first one to take the ball and in doing that he gives us a lot of confidence.
“He is very young and won three Champions League titles. He is a player that likes a lot of movement, is quick on the ball. It’s good for a team like us. It’s good to have someone like him at Chelsea.”
Kova actually has four Champions League titles now (at just 27), three in a row with Real Madrid and the fourth coming courtesy of Havertz’s winner in Porto on May 29. The legendary Paco Gento of Real Madrid is the only player in history with six, while nine others have five.
But Havertz is just getting started, and learning all sorts of valuable lessons from the man five years his senior.
“One of the players that helps me a lot for example was Kova. I had from day one a very good relationship with him. He’s a different character of playing football. But I think we share the same understanding of football.
“Before the game, a very calm person and for me this is good sometimes to be next to somebody that is very calm.”
-Kai Havertz; source: SI
Didn’t think Havertz needed any help in staying calm, but it’s working a treat so far.
Time to keep winning!