The 38-year-old had enjoyed a wonderful career playing for Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. He was involved in three Champions League finals. And lost all three.
First, when his Leverkusen side reached the 2002 final against Real Madrid, a game remembered for Zinedine Zidane’s perfect volley - but by not Butt.
"We were 2-1 down and I headed wide of the post in the final minutes," he says. Not for the first time, Butt’s name would have been on the scoresheet. He scored 32 penalties, including three against Juventus in the Champions League – for three different clubs.
The penalty-taking goalkeeper became famous in Germany, but, unlike in his homeland, Butt is not a household name in Britain. The now retired keeper who was also capped four times for his country would take "wonderful" family holidays to Scotland, where he went unrecognised, which is exactly how he likes it.
He joined Bayern Munich at 34 and played in another Champions League final, the 2010 defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale in Madrid.
Then he quit football, walked away from all the privileges afforded to Bayern Munich players in Bavaria, and took a job in a family company which provides lift solutions.
"It’s the real world," he says. "I loved my football career, but now I want to start a new life."
He still lives in Munich with his wife and three children, in a beautiful house he built himself. The house is close to the site of the Munich air disaster.
"The place where the aeroplane crashed is about ten minutes from where we live," Butt explains. "The older people in Munich know the story, not so much the younger people."
Butt’s last European game was against Manchester City, when he was captain of Bayern Munich. He was on the bench last May when Chelsea won the Champions League in Munich. He shakes his head when that is mentioned.
He’s not going to Wembley this Saturday, but holding a BBQ at home for friends and family.
"I can’t wait to watch the game (between his old team-mates and Borussia Dortmund), but I’m most looking forward to watching it from home. I’ve seen enough stadiums for one lifetime and done enough travelling around for football, though I’ve promised my son that I will take him to Old Trafford to see a game and show him where I played."
Butt is still close to many of his former Bayern team-mates.
"They’re a better team than a year ago," he says. "They bought very well last summer when they signed Javi Martinez."
"You may be used to big transfer fees like that in England, but we’re not in Germany," Butt explains. "And it was not like Bayern were signing Messi or Iniesta. Not many people had heard of him."
Martinez, a defensive midfielder, took time to settle.
"He wasn’t used to the more physical demands of the Bundesliga compared to Spain and took a few months to get used to it, but when he did he was fine."
Martinez was only 23, yet already experienced.
He’d broken into Athletic’s first team aged just 18 after signing from Osasuna, the team from Pamplona, close to where he grew up.
Pamplona produces footballers: Arsenal full-back Nacho Monreal was also raised in the city famous for the annual running of the bulls, as was Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta - two Premier League rivals with full-backs from the same place.
Martinez had been part of the Spain squad which won the World Cup and played alongside Juan Mata in the under-21 European championships in 2011. None of the success went to his head, the huge transfer fee didn’t affect him and Butt praises his low profile, yet vital influence.
"He’s not a player who plays for the fans like Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben. He’s in the background compared to those players, yet he’s probably the most important Bayern Munich player.
"You don’t even see him on the ball so much, but he’s very intelligent strategically. He reads the game very well and closes the space between the attack and defence, giving a balance to the team."
If there was a criticism of Bayern a year ago, it was that they made unforced defensive errors. They have been cut out, which is all down to Martinez, claims Butt. "His personality gives the other players confidence and his gives the team stability. He’s calm when he has the ball and he’s calm when attackers run at him. He was, in many ways, the perfect signing for Bayern Munich."
Butt’s estimation of the 24-year-old Spaniard couldn’t be higher.
"He is a player without a weakness," he says. ‘He’s even good in the air. I’ve spoken to people at Bayern about him. They’re very impressed by his professionalism. He’s not shy, but he’s quiet and keeps the right distance between himself and the fans. He doesn’t seek adulation and he’s integrated well.
"It’s not easy to learn German when you’re Spanish, but he’s done really well and his German is good for someone who has been here less than one year.
"If they win at Wembley, this will be Bayern’s greatest ever season," concludes Butt. "They’ve had an incredible year and Javi Martinez has played a bigger part in that than anyone has noticed."
And Butt will be cheering them on as loudly as anyone over a rostbratwurst and a beer.
Andy Mitten - @andymitten