Stipe Pletikosa

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Stipe Pletikosa
Rostov-Krasnodar (2).jpg
Pletikosa with Rostov
Personal information
Full nameStipe Pletikosa [1]
Date of birth (1979-01-08) 8 January 1979 (age 40)
Place of birth Split, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) [2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1986–1996 Hajduk Split
Senior career*
1996–2003 Hajduk Split 141 (4)
2003–2007 Shakhtar Donetsk 32 (0)
2005–2006Hajduk Split (loan) 21 (0)
2007–2011 Spartak Moscow 63 (0)
2010–2011Tottenham Hotspur (loan) 0 (0)
2011–2015 Rostov 110 (0)
2015–2016 Deportivo La Coruña 2 (0)
National team
1994 Croatia U15 1 (0)
1994–1995 Croatia U16 2 (0)
1994 Croatia U17 2 (0)
1995–1997 Croatia U18 2 (0)
1995–1998 Croatia U19 14 (0)
1999 Croatia U20 5 (0)
1998–2001 Croatia U21 13 (0)
1999–2014 Croatia 114 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 14 May 2016

Stipe Pletikosa (pronounced  [stǐːpe plětikosa] ; [3] [4] born 8 January 1979) is a Croatian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

Association football team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.


Pletikosa began his professional career with Hajduk Split in Croatia, transferred to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, then joined Spartak Moscow in 2007. After spending one season with Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, he returned to Russia in 2011 with Rostov, then moved to Deportivo de La Coruña of La Liga in 2015, where he retired.

HNK Hajduk Split Croatian association football club

HNK Hajduk Split, commonly referred to as Hajduk Split or simply Hajduk, is a professional Croatian football club founded in 1911, and based in the city of Split. Since 1979, the club's home ground has been the 35,000-seat Stadion Poljud. The team's traditional home colours are white shirts with blue shorts and socks.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk professional football club based in Donetsk, Ukraine

Football Club Shakhtar Donetsk is a Ukrainian professional football club from the city of Donetsk. In 2014 the club moved to Lviv but has since early 2017 played in Kharkiv and has its headquarters in Kiev.

FC Spartak Moscow Russian association football club in Moscow

FC Spartak Moscow is a Russian professional football club from Moscow. Having won 12 Soviet championships and a record 10 Russian championships, it is the country's most successful club. They have also won a record 10 Soviet Cups, 3 Russian Cups and one Russian Super Cup. Spartak have also reached the semi-finals of all three European club competitions.

Pletikosa made his international debut for Croatia in 1999, and went on to represent the country in five major tournaments. He is the second-most capped player in the history of the Croatian national team after Darijo Srna, having made 114 appearances. Pletikosa retired from international football following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. [5]

The Croatia national football team represents Croatia in international association football matches. The team is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS), the nation's governing body for football, and is widely supported throughout the country due to the ever-present popularity of the sport. Most home matches are played at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb or though other smaller venues are also used occasionally. They are one of the youngest national teams to reach the knockout stage of a major tournament, as well as the youngest team to occupy the top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings.

Darijo Srna Croatian footballer

Darijo Srna is a Croatian professional footballer who plays for Italian club Cagliari.

2014 FIFA World Cup 20th FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil in 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organised by FIFA. It took place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2007. It was the second time that Brazil staged the competition, the first being in 1950, and the fifth time that it was held in South America.

Club career

Hajduk Split

Pletikosa began his career at Croatian club Hajduk Split. He was selected as first-team goalkeeper for the 1998–99 season by manager Ivan Katalinić, replacing the veteran Tonči Gabrić. Hajduk fans nicknamed him "Octopus" ("Hobotnica") for his excellent reflexes and coordination. In 2002, he was named by magazine Večernji list as Croatian Player of the Year, the only goalkeeper other than Zoran Simović to have won the award.

Ivan Katalinić is a former Croatian football manager and former goalkeeper who had a successful playing career with Hajduk Split and Southampton in the 1970s and 1980s. As a member of Hajduk's famous "golden generation" of the 1970s, he won four Yugoslav championships and five consecutive cups.

Tonči Gabrić is a former Croatian football player in goalkeeper role.

<i>Večernji list</i> Croatian daily newspaper

Večernji list is a conservative Croatian daily newspaper published in Zagreb.

Shakhtar Donetsk

In 2003, Pletikosa and teammate Darijo Srna transferred to Shakhtar Donetsk for 2 million. Unlike Srna, Pletikosa did not succeed at the club and was subsequently loaned back to Hajduk in 2005. His second spell at Hajduk proved successful and earned him a starting place in Croatia's 2006 World Cup squad. Pletikosa returned to Shakhtar the following season, but found himself second choice to Jan Laštůvka, prompting the goalkeeper to seek a move. Shakhtar accepted a bid of €3 million from Dinamo Zagreb, but Pletikosa rejected the move due to his loyalty to Hajduk, Dinamo's biggest rivals. A loan move to Fulham also fell through as he could not gain a work permit.

Euro European currency

The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area, and counts about 343 million citizens as of 2019. The euro is the second largest and second most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar. The euro is subdivided into 100 cents.

2006 FIFA World Cup 18th FIFA World Cup, held in Germany in 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition, and the tenth time that it was held in Europe.

Jan Laštůvka Czech footballer

Jan Laštůvka is a Czech professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Baník Ostrava.

Pletikosa in 2008 playing for Spartak. StipePletikosa.jpg
Pletikosa in 2008 playing for Spartak.

Spartak Moscow

On 7 March, the Russian football federation's transfer deadline day, Pletikosa signed a three-year, €3 million contract to join Spartak Moscow. He featured regularly for the first-team until 2009, when he was less favoured by manager Valeri Karpin.

Valeri Karpin Russian footballer and manager

Valeri Georgievich Karpin is a Russian football manager of FC Rostov and a former midfielder, primarily a right midfielder.

On 31 August 2010, Pletikosa signed a season-long loan with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League. [6] He made his Tottenham debut in a 4–1 home defeat against Arsenal in the League Cup on 21 September 2010. It was his only appearance for the club.

In July 2011, Pletikosa began a trial at Scottish Premier League club Celtic, playing in friendly matches away to Cardiff City and at home to Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers, in which he failed to impress. [7] In August 2011, manager Neil Lennon decided not to keep him as a member of the squad.


On 6 August 2011, Pletikosa signed a two-year contract with Russian Premier League club Rostov. [8]

Deportivo La Coruña

Pletikosa playing for Deportivo de La Coruna. Pletikosadeportivo.JPG
Pletikosa playing for Deportivo de La Coruña.

On 20 December 2015, Pletikosa signed a six-month deal with La Liga side Deportivo de La Coruña, mainly as a replacement for the injured Fabricio. [9]

International career

Pletikosa made his Croatia senior debut as a 20-year-old against Denmark in 1999, winning plaudits for his dog-like reflexes and shot-stopping. But insecurity over the handling of high balls took a heavy toll at the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Slovakia, where Croatia finished last in their group.

Pletikosa worked hard to correct the weaknesses in his game. Under former Croatia head coach Mirko Jozić, he became his country's first-choice goalkeeper, playing all three matches at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. Pletikosa blossomed, using all of his 1.93-metre frame when dealing with difficult crosses.

Named as Croatia's first-choice goalkeeper at the UEFA Euro 2004 in Portugal, he sustained an injury a few days before the beginning of the tournament and was replaced by reserve goalkeeper Tomislav Butina. Butina retained the position of number one goalkeeper during the qualification rounds for the 2006 World Cup. As a result, Pletikosa appeared in only two qualifying matches. Nevertheless, Pletikosa was chosen over Butina in the finals, since Butina was still recovering from an injury sustained early in the year.

At Euro 2008, Pletikosa was named Man of the Match in Croatia's opening victory against Austria, making many saves to preserve Croatia's 1–0 lead from an early penalty. On 16 June 2008, during the match between Austria and Germany, BBC pundit Alan Hansen stated his belief that Pletikosa had been "the best goalkeeper in the tournament" up to that point, ahead of more well-known contemporaries such as Petr Čech, Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas, although his colleague Alan Shearer said Edwin van der Sar had been equally impressive. However, Buffon, Casillas and Van der Sar were eventually voted to the Team of the Tournament.

On 6 February 2013, Pletikosa played his 100th international match for Croatia, keeping a clean sheet in a 4–0 defeat of South Korea. [10]

In the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, played on 12 June against hosts Brazil, a penalty was given against Croatia with the match tied 11. Pletikosa made contact with Neymar's spot kick, but could not prevent it from going in. Croatia eventually lost 31. [11] On 17 July 2014, following the World Cup, Pletikosa announced his retirement from the national team. [12]

Pletikosa keeping for Croatia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and Croatia match at the FIFA World Cup 2014-06-12 (14).jpg
Pletikosa keeping for Croatia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Career statistics


As of Match played 14 May 2016 [13]
SeasonClubLeagueLeagueCupContinentalOther [nb 1] Total
1996–97 Hajduk Split Prva HNL 100010
1997–98 100010
1998–99 19000190
1999–2000 32030350
2000–01 31120331
2001–02 27060330
2002–03 30342345
2003–04 Shakhtar Donetsk Ukrainian Premier League 2306000290
2004–05 60000060
2005–06 Hajduk Split (loan) Prva HNL 210210
2006–07 Shakhtar Donetsk Ukrainian Premier League 30100040
2007 Spartak Moscow Russian Premier League 29090380
2008 30080380
2009 401050
2010 00000000
2010–11 Tottenham Hotspur (loan) Premier League 0000001010
2011–12 Rostov Russian Premier League 2300020250
2012–13 3003020350
2013–14 27030300
2014–15 300002030350
2015–16 Deportivo La Coruña La Liga 2020
TotalHajduk Split16241521776
Shakhtar Donetsk3207000390
Spartak Moscow6301017000810
Tottenham Hotspur0000001010
Deportivo La Coruña2000000020
Career total369470412804256


Croatia national team

Statistics accurate as of match played 23 June 2014 [14]



Hajduk Split
Shakhtar Donetsk


Personal life

Pletikosa is a practising Roman Catholic who is known to wear a T-shirt with a picture of the Virgin Mary under his uniform for good luck when he plays. [15] [16]


  1. Includes Football League Cup, Russian Relegation Play-offs and Russian Super Cup

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  2. "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  3. "Stjȅpān". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-17. Stípe
  4. "plȅsti". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 2018-03-17. Plètikosa
  5. "Pletikosa calls time on Croatia career". FIFA. 19 July 2014.
  6. "Tottenham Hotspur complete Stipe Pletikosa loan deal". BBC Sport. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  7. Brian, Marjoribanks (27 July 2011). "Celtic 0 Wolves 2: Hoops's trialists fail to shine as McCarthy's men triumph". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  8. "Pletikosa joins Rostov". 6 August 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  9. "El meta croata Pletikosa firma hasta junio" [Croatian goalkeeper Pletikosa signs until June] (in Spanish). Marca. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  10. "Srna strikes as Croatia beat South Korea". GOLTV. 6 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  11. "Brazil 3-1 Croatia". BBC Sport . 12 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  12. "Stipe Pletikosa odlučio završiti reprezentativnu karijeru" (in Croatian). Večernji list. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  13. "S.Pletikosa Stats". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  14. "Stipe Pletikosa – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  15. "Stipe Pletikosa: "U Međugorju je počeo moj put k vjeri"". (in Croatian). 12 November 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2016.[ permanent dead link ]
  16. "World Cup 2014: Croatia – the secrets behind the players". The Guardian. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2016.