(; born 8 January 1979 in Split
) is a Croatian football goalkeeper
who is currently unattached. He plays for the Croatian national team
, for which he has made 82 appearances.
Pletikosa began his career at Croatian
club Hajduk Split
. He was selected as first team goalkeeper for the 1998/99 season by then manager Ivan Katalinić
, replacing the ageing Tonči Gabrić
. Pletikosa's excellent reflexes and coordination lead to Hadjuk fans nicknaming him 'octopus' (hobotnica). In 2002, he was named Večernji list
Croatian player of the year; Zoran Simovic
was the only goalkeeper to have won this award previously.
In 2003 Pletikosa alongside teammate Darijo Srna
transferred to Shakhtar Donetsk
for €2 million. Unlike Srna, Pletikosa did not succeed at the club, and was loaned out back to Hajduk Split 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. A bid of €3 million from Dinamo Zagreb
was accepted, but Pletikosa rejected due to his loyalty to Hajduk, the club's biggest rivals. A loan move to Fulham
also failed as he could not gain a work permit.
On the 7th March, Russia's transfer deadline day, Pletikosa signed for Spartak Moscow
for a fee... Read More