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Con Boutsianis (born 27 December 1971, Melbourne) is an Australian Football (soccer) player and former International, noted for his ability in dead ball situations.[1] Con is known affectionately by fans as 'Boutsi'.

Boutsianis began his career with South Melbourne in the National Soccer League in 1989, and soon established himself as a goalscoring midfielder. He left South at the end of the 1994/95 season to join Heidelberg United for the 1996 Victorian Premier League season, before joining Collingwood Warriors for their one and only season in the NSL.

Following the club's demise at the end of the 1996/97 season, he had a short stint in the VPL with Bentleigh Greens, before rejoining South Melbourne for the 1997/98 NSL season. He played a crucial role in the grand final against Carlton, scoring the controversial winning goal after coming on as a substitute. Paul Trimboli sent a long ball forward, finding Boutsianis in pursuit behind Carlton defender Sean Douglas. Boutsianis seemed to push Douglas to the ground before collecting the ball and proceeding to beat Carlton goalkeeper Dean Anastasiadis.

The controversy was added to further as unbeknownst to most in the crowd, Boutsianis had been implicated in the robbery of Melbourne's Shark Fin restaurant as the getaway driver, in the lead up to the game. In 2001 the case reached its conclusion with no conviction being recorded against Boutsianis, though he was placed on 2 years probation and lost his place with Bolton Wanderers of England as a result.

Despite being the hero of the grand final, Boutsianis went over to Perth Glory for the next two seasons, arguably reaching his peak as a player, scoring 25 goals in 49 appearances. A short unsuccessful stint with Bolton Wanderers followed, and he returned to play with South Melbourne in the 2000/01 side which finished runner-up to Wollongong, continuing his career best form scoring 14 goals in 30 games.

Boutsianis would leave South for a 3rd time the next season, along with South coach Mike Petersen and South teammate Andy Vlahos to join the Football Kingz. Boutsianis ended up playing no games for the club, and sought a return to South during the season. The Kingz eventually relented, on condition that he not play in the fixture between the two sides, at that time holding down the bottom two spots on the table. Boutsianis ended up taking the field and scoring the winner late in the game, and all up scored 8 goals in 15 games to take South from bottom of the table to fifth spot and into the finals.

The season though would be the beginning of the end for Boutsianis as a formidable player, as for the next 2 seasons he struggled to reach the potency he was known for, and he ended up playing for several clubs in the VPL, and eventually signing with Oakleigh Cannons for the remainder of what was thought would be his last season. Oakleigh's exit from the 2006 VPL finals brought an end to Boutsianis' career, but he donned the boots again for the Cannons in the 2007 season.

In 2009 Boutsianis signed for Essendon United, who play in the Victorian Provisional North/West 1 league. He scored on his home debut with a trademark left foot strike against Whittlesea United at Aberfeldie Park.

Boutsianis has four international caps for Australia. His first cap came during the 2002 World Cup qualification match against Tonga, which Australia won 22–0, breaking the world record for the largest win in international match. Boutsianis came on as a substitute and scored a goal in that match. On the next match, against American Samoa, he was named as starter and scored three goals as Australia went on to break their own record by winning 31–0. The first goal was scored direct from a corner kick, where Boutsianis cross curled and ended up behind the goal line. He then made two more appearances for Australia, the last one came on August 2001 in a match against Japan. He quit the national team with a record of 4 goals from 4 appearances.

Prior to the 2008 Olympics, Boutsianis was hired to work with the US Women's Olympic soccer team as a specialist coach for free-kick specialist Carli Lloyd.[2] Lloyd later scored the goal that earned Team USA Gold in Beijing. Lloyd said, "The way he communicated the mechanics of striking the ball was definitely world class."

Boutsianis now lives on the Gold Coast and runs his own football coaching business, Football First.[3] He is also a specialist coach at Gold Coast United in the A-League.

On 11 August 2010, Con released the Learn Football app via iTunes. He is currently working on his autobiography.
References

^ OzFootball Profile
^ [1]
^ [2]

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