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Stipe Pletikosa

Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 14.02CET
FC Rostov

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Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 14.02CET

Stipe Pletikosa

FC Rostov

Croatia's No1 goalkeeper for the best part of the past decade, Stipe Pletikosa has recovered from a lean spell at club level to reinstate himself as Slaven Bilić's likely first choice between the posts at UEFA EURO 2012. He kept his goal intact in the qualifying play-off against Turkey to make it 41 clean sheets in 89 internationals.

• A product of local club HNK Hajduk Split, he replaced Tonči Gabrić as the team's No1 in 1999 and went on to win the Croatian title in 2000/01 plus the Croatian Cup twice, taking star billing in the 2000 final against arch-rivals NK Dinamo Zagreb (won 2-1 over two legs) and scoring a penalty in the 2003 showpiece.

• First capped in February 1999, in a Split friendly against Denmark, he was ever-present at the 2002 FIFA World Cup; left Hajduk for FC Shakhtar Donetsk, in tandem with fellow Croatian international Darijo Srna, a year later.

• Ruptured a thigh muscle on eve of UEFA EURO 2004 and replaced by Tomislav Butina but regained his starting berth and made three World Cup appearances in 2006 plus three more at UEFA EURO 2008.

• After UEFA Champions League qualifying failures with Hajduk and Shakhtar, he finally made his debut in the group stage in 2006/07 against Valencia CF; it remains his only appearance in Europe's premier club competition.

• Joined FC Spartak Moskva in 2007 and missed just one Premier-Liga match in his first two seasons, but lost his place and moved on loan in 2010/11 to Tottenham Hotspur FC, where he joined several fellow Croatian internationals; returned to Russia in summer 2011, signing a two-year contract with FC Rostov.

Last updated: 08/12/13 7.39CET

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