Ante Rebic: Who is Eintracht Frankfurt and Croatia's man for the big occasion?
He’s the man whose goals effectively won Eintracht Frankfurt’s first piece of silverware for 30 years, but what else do you know about Ante Rebic?
bundesliga.com shines a light on a Frankfurt and Croatia hero-for-life…
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Country: Croatia (28 caps/3 goals)
From Split to Frankfurt via stints at Fiorentina and Hellas Verona, Rebic exploded onto the world stage during a breakout 2017/18 season. Six goals in 25 Bundesliga appearances set him up well for a dramatic end to the campaign. Firstly, a brace in the DFB Cup final against Bayern Munich to bring the Pokal home to Frankfurt before he jetted off to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He appeared in all but one of Croatia’s nine games as they reached the final for the first time in the country’s history – and chalked up a stunning goal to help beat Argentina 3-0 in the group stages.
After missing the first three Bundesliga games of the 2018/19 season, Rebic showed no ring rust as he continued his blistering form into Frankfurt’s new campaign. Three goals in his first four league matches eventually ended in nine strikes for the campaign, as well as four assists in his 28 appearances. He formed a deadly trio alongside Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller to fly the Eagles through the UEFA Europa League and all the way to a semi-final against Chelsea. He also became an internet sensation with fans catching a glimpse of the Croatian beginning to celebrate on several occasions when Jovic was in on goal, showing his unwavering trust in his now former teammate.
Watch: Rebic's role in Frankfurt's attack last season!
Plays a bit like: Eden Hazard
Now before you get ahead of yourselves, we are not saying that Rebic has the same ability as the new Real Madrid man. Not yet, at least. But in fact, when watching Rebic, you see that his biggest asset on the pitch is his body, much like the Belgian. His ridiculous strength, both in running with the ball and keeping it with his upper body, is a nightmare for defenders. Not least because the Croatian is able to muscle most markers off to win or retain possession.
Match this with his quick feet and a seamlessly never-empty fuel reserves, and Rebic is the ideal modern forward, whether playing in the middle on his own, or wide as part of a two or three-man attack. It still seems to remain a surprise to opposition defences that the 25-year-old has such good feet and speed for a player built as he is, and against Werder Bremen in 2018/19, he showed it in one of the most aesthetically pleasing jukes of a defender that you are likely to see.
Watch: Rebic's stunning strike vs. Bremen!
Did you know?
Rebic’s first club in Germany was not Frankfurt, but RB Leipzig. He was a member of Ralf Rangnick’s squad in 2014/15, making 10 appearances without scoring as Leipzig finished fifth, one year before being automatically promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time.
What they’re saying
"That he was an exceptional talent was already clear at that time, but obviously now he has also understood that there are many other things to do with it." – Rangnick
"Many have suggested he's a difficult character and a bad egg, but Ante is a very tame fellow, a nice guy." – former Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Niko Kovac
"The Bundesliga suits me. I’ve found myself here." – Rebic
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