Thursday, 12 August 2010


Former Croatia international Tomislav Sokota looks set to gain one last foriegn contract with Greek club AO Kavala. Sokota, now 33 looked to be heading into retirement or back in the Croatian league after being released by Belgian side Lokeron. However the striker has won one last deal abroad in the Greek Superliga where his friend and former Dinamo Zagreb strike partner Bosko Balaban plays with Pananios.

Sokota has had an interesting career with moments of both joy and sadness. At Dinamo he made a major impression scoring 49 goals in 92 games and becoming HNL1 leading scorer in both the 1999/ 00 and 2000/01 seasons. He also recorded memorable goals against Sturm Graz in the Champions League and Parma in the UEFA Cup. Such success led to a much deserved transfer to Benfica. Sokota's first two seasons however were destroyed by injury after he broke his foot. This caused him to miss the World Cup in 2002, but he returned the season after to net 14 goals as Benfica claimed Championship glory. Even then life was not easy as Sokota was first on scene when the late Miklos Feher suffered a fatal heart attack. Sokota, who was once vilified for unveiling a anti Hajduk T Shirt, was praised by doctor's for his attempts at saving Feher's life. Sokota certainly had matured during his career very rapidly.

Sokota's performances at Benfica were good enough to win favour with Croatia coach Otto Baric in time for Croatia's Euro 2004 decisive play off qualifier with Slovenia. Sokota played in Dado Prso to score the winning goal and Baric took Sokota to the Championships after strikes against Denmark and Turkey. Sokota's finals however were typical of his career. He participated in one disappointing draw with 10 man Switzerland, one great game with France and a final group game loss versus England. That was the end of Sokota's breif international career.

On his return to Benfica, Sokota was injured again and left for rivals Porto. Sokota's was so prone to injury there that he played just 3 matches in two seasons. Sokota spent the next two seasons at Dinamo, but was again prone to fitness troubles, playing just 27 matches and scoring 8 goals. Once a Dinamo fans favorite Sokota was then shown the door in January 2009 as the club felt they were not gaining value for money. Sokota pitched up for a season at Lokeron and left with reasonable figures of 7 goals for season spent on and off the bench. It wasn't sure whether it was enough to attract the interest of another foriegn club, but Greek side OA Kavala will the player another chance.