Hans-Jorg Butt was supposed to be entering the twilight of his career when he joined Germany's biggest club Bayern Munich from Portuguese giants Benfica in the summer of 2008. It was widely expected that he would play the role of the experienced backup goalkeeper behind rising star Michael Rensing. Luckily for Butt, things were to turn out quite differently.
He swiftly dislodged Rensing as Bayern's No1 and owing to his calm, professional nature, played a major role as the Bavarians celebrated a domestic double of Bundesliga and DFB Cup before bringing a memorable 2009/10 season to a close with defeat to Inter Milan in the final of the UEFA Champions League.
When Germany's presumed first-choice goalkeeper Rene Adler was forced to pull out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ through injury, it came as no surprise that coach Joachim Low decided to call upon the Oldenburg-born veteran to join fellow shot-stoppers Manuel Neuer of Schalke 04 and Tim Wiese of Werder Bremen in the squad for South Africa.
Butt already boasts a healthy amount of experience at major tournaments having travelled to both UEFA EURO 2000 and Korea/Japan 2002 as third choice keeper. The 36-year-old has also appeared in two Champions League finals, ending up on the losing side for Bayer Leverkusen against Real Madrid in 2001 prior to the defeat against Inter in Madrid just a few weeks ago.
Not only does Butt bring experience to the squad, he also has nerves of steel, as proven by his willingness to take regular penalties at club level. His 26 strikes make him the most prolific goalkeeper in Bundesliga history, while his nine goals during the 1999/2000 season saw him finish as Hamburg's joint-top scorer alongside Tony Yeboah and Roy Prager.