Tomislav Butina

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Tomislav Butina
Tomislav Butina 15032009.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1974-03-30) 30 March 1974 (age 43)
Place of birth Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–2003 Dinamo Zagreb 103 (0)
1994–1995 Karlovac (loan)
1995–1996 Samobor (loan)
1996–1997 Slaven Belupo (loan)
2003–2006 Club Brugge 61 (0)
2006–2008 Olympiacos 4 (0)
2008–2010 Dinamo Zagreb 49 (0)
Total 216 (0)
National team
1995 Croatia U20 1 (0)
1994–1995 Croatia U21 11 (0)
2001–2006 Croatia 28 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Tomislav Butina (pronounced [tǒmislaʋ bǔtina]; born 30 March 1974) is a former Croatian footballer who played as goalkeeper for top level clubs Dinamo Zagreb, Club Brugge and Olympiacos. He was also capped 28 times for the Croatia national football team in the period from 2001 to 2006 and was member of Croatian squads at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2004 UEFA European Championship.

He started his professional career with Dinamo Zagreb, debuting for the first team on 23 May 1993, when the club was known as Croatia Zagreb. However, he struggled to make an impact at the club at the time when Dražen Ladić was the club's longtime first-choice goalkeeper. In the mid-1990s he had several loan spells with lower-tier Croatian sides Karlovac, Samobor and Slaven Belupo. In the late 1990s he became a regular member of the squad, and, following Ladić's retirement in 2000, took over as Dinamo's first choice goalkeeper in the 2000–01 season.

In July 2003 joined the Belgian First Division side Club Brugge, where he spent three seasons before moving on to the Greek powerhouse Olympiacos in 2006. Following an unsuccessful two-season spell with the club, he returned to Dinamo Zagreb for the 2008–09 season. He made 49 league appearances in his final spell with the club, before being released early in the 2010–11 season, on 18 August 2010.[2]

Internationally, Butina represented Croatia at the under-20 and under-21 levels in 1994 and 1995, making a total of twelve appearances at youth levels. On 5 September 2001, he made his full international debut in a 2002 World Cup qualifier against San Marino. He went on to appear in all of Croatia's three matches at the UEFA Euro 2004 finals, and kept his place as the national team's first-choice goalkeeper over the following 18 months. He was also part of Croatia's 23-man squads for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, but did not feature in any of the team's six matches during the two tournaments. In August 2006, he announced his retirement from the national team.

Club career[edit]

Dinamo Zagreb[edit]

Butina became a member of Dinamo Zagreb senior squad in the inaugural season of the Prva HNL. He marked his debut for the club on 23 May 1993.[1] Due to Dražen Ladić being an irreplaceable as the club's first choice goalkeeper, Butina was sent on loans to smaller Prva HNL clubs. He then had season-long loan spells with Karlovac, Samobor and Slaven Belupo.[3] He returned to Dinamo in 1997, made six league appearances in both the 1997–98 and the 1999–2000 title-winning campaigns and became the club's first-choice goalkeeper after Ladić's retirement in 2000.[3] The next three seasons, he featured regularly in the Dinamo Zagreb first team, making a total of 90 league appearances and winning two Croatian Cups with the club. During the 2002–03 Prva HNL season, Butina appeared in all of the 32 Dinamo Zagreb's league matches and conceded only 27 goals, which helped the club secure its first title since 2000.[3] On 26 February 2002 Butina was stripped of his capitancy after breaking media silence about the existing financial problems in the club.[4] On 13 June 2003 he was transferred to the Belgian First Division side Club Brugge.[2]

Club Brugge[edit]

In his first season with Club Brugge, he was a second-choice goalkeeper to Dany Verlinden, but the veteran retired the following season, and Butina became a member of the starting eleven. In 2003–04 season he made nine league appearances and two appearances in the UEFA Champions League. During the 2004–05 season he conceded just 22 goals in 31 league games as Club Brugge claimed the Belgian championship title. It was his first and only honour with the Belgian club. He also made two appearances in the 2004–05 UEFA Cup. The next season he made nineteen appearances in the First Division and featured in five 2005–06 UEFA Champions League group stage matches.[5] Butina played his last match for Club Brugge on 15 February 2006 against A.S. Roma in a 2–1 defeat at Jan Breydel Stadium in the 2005–06 UEFA Cup.

Tomislav Butina in 2008.


On 16 July, he was transferred to Olympiacos.[2] He appeared only in two league matches in his two seasons with the club, conceding four goals. Following his two-year spell with the Greek club, Butina decided to sign for the reigning Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb.[6]

Return to Dinamo Zagreb[edit]

Tomislav Butina delivering a goal–kick during the Champions League qualifier vs. Red Bull Salzburg.

On 23 May 2008, exactly fifteen years following his debut for the Dinamo Zagreb first team, he signed a two-year deal with the Croatian club after previously being released from his contract with Olympiacos.[7] In first season following his return, Butina made 24 league appearances, conceding 18 goals. He also featured in three 2008–09 UEFA Champions League qualifiers, four matches in UEFA Cup and six matches in Croatian Cup which Dinamo have won third time in a row. He helped the club defend the league title the next season, featuring in 25 league matches.[2] He also made 10 appearances in European competitions and four more appearances in the 2009–10 Croatian Cup.[8] On 17 August 2010, at the start of the 2010–11 season, Butina was released from his contract with Dinamo Zagreb along with his teammate Ante Tomić.[9] He made a total of 50 league appearances for Dinamo Zagreb following his return, also winning four domestic trophies.[2]

International career[edit]

Butina made his debut for the Croatia under-21 team on 19 April 1994, playing the full 90 minutes in a friendly match against Slovakia which finished by a goalless draw. Butina won a total of 11 international caps for the under-21 team between April 1994 and October 1995. He also played for under-20 team on one occasion, in an exhibition match against Styria.[10]

He went on to make his full international debut for Croatia in their 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier against San Marino on 5 September 2001 in Serravalle which Croatia won 4–0. Butina won a total of 28 international caps in almost five years of playing for the Croatian national football team. He made his last international appearance in Croatia's 1–0 defeat to Poland in a friendly match played on 3 June 2006 in Wolfsburg during the two teams' preparations for the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament. It was his only international appearance in 2006.[10]

2002 World Cup[edit]

Butina was called to take part in a 23-man squad at the 2002 FIFA World Cup final tournament by then manager Mirko Jozić and was issued the number 12 shirt. At the tournament, he remained an unused substitute in all of the team's three group matches, serving as the second-choice goalkeeper behind Stipe Pletikosa.[10]

2004 UEFA Euro[edit]

Despite not making any appearances for Croatia during the UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying, Butina went on to appear in all of their three group matches at the finals in Portugal after Pletikosa was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury sustained in training a few days before the first match. He was again issued a number 12 shirt. In the group stage, Croatia maintained a goalless draw against Switzerland, a 2–2 draw against France, and a loss 4–2 loss in the final round of the group stage against England which saw the team being eliminated from the tournament.[10]

2006 World Cup[edit]

Butina was able to keep his place as the team's first-choice goalkeeper throughout the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, playing in the first eight qualifiers, though Stipe Pletikosa played the final two. Butina was also part of the Croatia's 23-man squad at the World Cup in Germany, but once again remained an unused substitute in all of the team's three group matches, as Pletikosa was first-choice.[10] He announced his retirement from the national team a few weeks after the tournament, citing his desire to concentrate on club career and to spend more time with his family.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Butina is married and a father of two children: Magdalena (born c. 2003) and Hrvoje (born 2009).[12] Formerly a resident of Velika Gorica, in 2009 he moved with his family to Šalata neighborhood in Zagreb.[13] Currently he resides in Dubai with his family, working as a coach in Al-Nasr youth academy.

Butina is well known as an art lover. He is interested mainly in modern Croatian art, and owns a large collection of paintings, as well as an art gallery.[13][14][15][16]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 1 August 2010[2][17]
Club Season League
Apps Goals
Dinamo Zagreb 1992–93 1 0
1993–94 0 0
Karlovac 1994–95 0 0
Samobor 1995–96 0 0
Slaven Belupo 1996–97 0 0
Dinamo Zagreb 1997–98 6 0
1998–99 0 0
1999–00 6 0
2000–01 29 0
2001–02 29 0
2002–03 32 0
Club Brugge 2003–04 9 0
2004–05 33 0
2005–06 19 0
Olympiakos 2006–07 2 0
2007–08 0 0
Dinamo Zagreb 2008–09 24 0
2009–10 25 0
2010–11 1 0
Total 216 0


NK Samobor
Dinamo Zagreb
Club Brugge


  1. ^ a b "Tomislav Butina" (in Croatian). Dinamo Zagreb. Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Tomislav Butina (Hrvatska), igrač". Nogometni magazin (in Croatian). Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Butina, Tomislav". National Football Teams. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Butina više nije kapetan" (in Croatian). Vjesnik On-Line. 26 February 2002. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Tomislav Butina". Football Database. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Butina back at Dinamo Zagreb". UEFA. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Butina: Dinamo je za mene nešto posebno" (in Croatian). Dinamo Zagreb. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Kup 2009–10" (in Croatian). Dinamo Zagreb. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "Halihodžić: Zdravko Mamić mi neće određivati sastav!" (in Croatian). Sportske novosti. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Statistike – Nastupi: Tomislav Butina". Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Tomo Butina oprašta se od reprezentacije". (in Croatian). 1 August 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Tomislav Butina i supruga dobili su prvog sina Hrvoja". 24sata (in Croatian). 23 September 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "'Supruga i ja zajedno smo uredili naš dom. Zadnja je ipak bila moja...'". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 29 December 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Hrvatski kolekcionari". Poslovni dnevnik (in Croatian). 12 February 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Butina i umjetnost". Večernji list (in Croatian). 24 May 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Butina Vugrincu ugrozio status lidera umjetnosti". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 30 May 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Butina, Tomislav". National Football Teams. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 

External links[edit]