Rukavina playing for Dinamo Zagreb
|Date of birth||18 June 1986|
|Place of birth||Šibenik, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2014–||→ Lokomotiva (loan)||16||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 August 2014.
Ante Rukavina (born 18 June 1986) is a Croatian footballer who currently plays for Lokomotiva on loan from Dinamo Zagreb. He also played at Šibenik, Hajduk Split and Panathinaikos earlier in his career.
He started his career with his hometown club HNK Šibenik. He made his debut for Sibenik on the 29th of July, 2006 under coach Ivan Pudar against Osijek, having turned 20 years old just one month earlier. After making a name for himself as one of the hottest young prospects in the 1. HNL, he moved down the Croatian coast to Split side Hajduk in a deal worth around €400k in January 2007. Over the next 18 months at Hajduk, Ante continued impressing European scouts by scoring 9 goals in 34 appearances in what was a difficult time for the Croatia giants.
On 5 July 2008, he signed for the Greek side Panathinaikos FC who saw him as a 'useful addition to their offensive lineup for the next season', considering him to be an 'impressive young prospect'. The 4-year deal was reportedly worth €2.8M. In two seasons at Panathinaikos, Rukavina managed 11 goals in 55 appearances but was ultimately judged as a flop considering his high fee and high expectations when he arrived at the Greek side.
He made his debut for the club on 4 August 2010 at home to Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol in the return leg of the third qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League. On 7 August 2010, he made his domestic league debut for the club in a 1-1 draw at NK Varaždin, netting the opening goal of the match in the 5th minute. Later that month, he scored a brace to give the club a 2-0 win at Hungarian Győr FC in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League play-offs. He went on to make five appearances in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win at home to Villarreal on 16 September 2010. On 18 July 2012, Rukavina scored a last-minute goal against Bulgarian club Ludogorets Razgrad in a Champions League match to help his team to a 1:1 draw. He also netted twice in the return leg held a week later, which was won in a dramatic fashion by the Croatian side by a score of 3:2.
In January 2014, it was decided by Dinamo's sporting director and manager Zoran Mamic that Rukavina was surplus to the club's requirements. He was sent home early from Dinamo's winter training camp in Turkey and was told he was free to find a new club.
He played for the Croatian national under-21 team between 2007 and 2008, Rukavina was called up to the senior side squad for the first time on 12 March 2007, but to date has not appeared for his country at full international level.
- As of 26 October 2012
|HNK Hajduk Split||2006–07||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0|
|GNK Dinamo Zagreb||2010–11||21||4||6||0||0||0||8||3||35||7|
- Dinamo Zagreb
- Croatian First League (4) : 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Croatian Cup (2) : 2010–11, 2011–12
- Croatian Supercup (1) : 2013
- Croatian Hope of the Year : 2006
- Attias, Vedran (26 July 2010). "Rukavina potpisao za Dinamo!". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Rukavina se vraća u Zagreb i može naći novi klub" (in Croatian). GNK Dinamo Zagreb. 22 January 2014.
- Rukavina moved to NK Lokomotiva on a loan Retrieved 5 August 2014
- Rukavina earns maiden Croatia call, UEFA.com, 12 March 2007