It was a deafening crowd in Malaysia where Canadian-born, Denmark-based goalkeeper Yousuf Butt, then only aged 21, made his debut for the Pakistan U-23 team. The game ended in defeat and on a sour note for Yousuf, but the Danish shot-stopper has persisted ever since then.
Alongside his Danish-Pakistani compatriots Mohammad Ali and Hassan Bashir, he later made his senior team debut for Pakistan in December, 2012 and cemented his place in heart of the goal after Jaffar Khan’s eventual retirement.
After spells with a number of clubs in Denmark, Yousuf signed with Greve Fodbold, where he linked with international teammate Mohammad Ali, himself a well-travelled footballer that started his career with giants FC Copenhagen.
“It is second time Ali and i play together! We enjoy it a lot. Plus it can make it a little easier for national team duties in the future if we are called upon by Pakistan as our games can be moved if a club have 2 players on national team duties,” said Yousuf while speaking to FootballPakistan.com in an exclusive interview.
According to Ali, one of the interesting aspects of the club is that is ‘family club, where everyone helps out and it’s not pure business.’
With a large list of clubs between them, Yousuf and Ali both have been long enough to see the Danish leagues and are now yearning for a challenge abroad – something closer to home in Asia.
“We both have played our entire careers in Denmark, it would be great to go and play for a club in Asia, that would be fantastic and we would be closer to Pakistan too,” added Yousuf.
“I went to Erbil a few years ago on trial and it was a great club with fantastic facilities. So I am looking forward to playing with an Asian side. I want to explore options after playing in Denmark all my life and am really looking forward to represent Pakistan once again. The last three years seems a like a century,” said Ali before signing off.