Papadopoulos playing for Olympiacos in 2010
|Full name||Avraam Papadopoulos|
|Date of birth||3 December 1984|
|Place of birth||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 March 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Avraam Papadopoulos (Greek: Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος; born 3 December 1984) is an Australian-born Greek footballer who is the captain and plays as a central defender for Olympiakos and the Greek national team. He was born in Melbourne, Australia to Greek parents.
Papadopoulos started his professional career with Aris back in 2003 after stepping up from the Aris Youth with another promising attacking youngster – his mate Ethimios Pantelidis. Before, had been with Digenis Lakkomatos Chalkidiki youth.
At the beginning of his career, around the age of 17 (even before- including his youth days) Papadopoulos started as a striker or attacking midfielder. Especially in the period between 2003 (obviously not too much time after Papadopoulos' promotion into the first team) and the summer 2006, Aris lived some darker days of their history in Greek football also tangled with some sorts of more-less defensive philosophy of football, financial problems in the club, Papadopoulos experienced some gradual "demotions" into the more defensive positions by his coaches. Firstly back into defensive midfielder, then also right back and finally central defender where he generally plays even nowadays (his centre back position has been granted after the summer 2006 roster rebuilding).
He is quite tall, with very tough body constitution, but not slow for his physical appearance, with pretty good awareness and tackling, sometimes reckless which leads him to getting yellow cards, but also this can be partially explained by more attacking football of the post-2006 Aris that can expose a defender like Papadopoulos to the situations of must-break the opponents' (counter) attacks. The scorer of several (significant) goals through his career generally by his strong headers and penalties. The best example is his only goal/header in the final qualifiers with Zaragoza for the UEFA Cup group stage at the Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium, which, at the end of the day, turned out to be the crucial and historic goal after Aris' loss 2–1 in Spain that ensured Aris the progression to the group stage. Yet he has been sent up in front, whenever Aris needed an extra striker in the dying minutes of (several) matches.
As an "Aris kid" playing for his beloved club, but also with the fact that he experienced dark days as well as lighter, he was one of the fans' favourites logically, also one of the "last Mohicans" in the club ("Mohicans"- figuratively related to the players as Giorgios Koltsidas, Kostas Nebegleras, Papadopoulos, Georgios Gougoulias, Ronald Nacho Garcia, Efthimios Kouloucheris, Kristi Vangjeli, Petros Passalis, Spyros Gogolos, that were with this team in the second division, season 2005/06, as well as the season's after that, when the club experienced its promotion and then a total rebirth in the first division with good football and higher standing positions). Aris' number 4 was also known for his passion. For many years' transfer windows he used to be linked to Athenian giants (especially Olympiacos) by media/usually the sports news-papers, but yet had never changed his club, by then. Also as stories were circulating during the season (2006/07), he had been watched closely by some bigger clubs' scouts like Benfica or Chelsea, and Zenit of Russia as well.
Lastly, his number of caps for his ex-club Aris overflowed the margin of 100 (106 caps, scoring 6 goals). In last season (or 2) of his residence in Thessaloniki before moving into Piraeus, he was considered as one of the Aris (2007/08) top stars along with Sergio Koke, Ronald Nacho Garcia and experienced ex-super star and big Aris flop Marcio Amoroso and a couple of others.
After the end of the 2007–08 season, on triple occasion he refused to renew his contract up to 2013 (2 million euros in 5 years) although he had previously expressed affirmatively. That act which took its culmination right after he accepted to join Olympiacos F.C., caused many Aris fans to rage at him pronouncing the same as a traitor to them.
On 4 July 2008 the player was transferred to Olympiacos F.C. for 2,5 million euros. Olympiacos F.C. announced on Friday 4 July 2008, the signing of footballer Avraam Papadopoulos from Aris. The player has signed a four-year contract. Avraam stated this during a press conference, "I came to Olympiacos, and not Panathinaikos, because it was the best choice for me. The ideal choice. I would not like to say anything else and it does not make sense to talk about the past. I will work as hard as I can to make the team reach its goals and objectives in both Europe and Greece".
Papadopoulos made his debut against Anorthosis Famagusta FC in a 3–0 away loss. He finished 2008–09 season with 22 league matches. He started the next season by scoring against ŠK Slovan Bratislava in a 0–2 away win. This was his first goal for Olympiakos. He managed to score a crucial goal against P.A.O.K. F.C. in a 1–2 away win. He also scored against AEK Athens F.C. in a 1–2 home loss. He completed 28 league appearances and he scored 2 goals. His partnership with Olof Mellberg at the centre of defence played a vital role for Olympiacos as they won back-to-back championships in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons.
On 24 June 2011, along with Super League and Olympiakos Piraeus President Evangelos Marinakis were identified by the Athens prosecutor for their alleged involvement in match-fixing, as the list of those implicated in the scandal that has rocked Greek football grew. Marinakis, who took over the presidency of Olympiakos in July 2010 and was appointed Super League chief in August 2010, is accused of being involved in “simple collaboration with a criminal organisation whose members seek financial or other material benefit”, and “simple collaboration in corruption, altering the results (outcome) of matches.Papadopoulos, who plays for champions Olympiakos, was also included in the list along with another high profile player, Kostas Mendrinos, who is on the books of Aris F.C.
Following his injury in the Euro 2012 tournament, it was revealed that Papadopoulos had torn his ACL. After an eight-month absence, Papadopoulos returned to play by entering as a substitute for Kostas Manolas on the 46th minute of a 1–0 victory over Kavala F.C. on 30 January 2013. On 10 March 2013 he managed to score 2 goals against AEK Athens F.C. in a 3-0 home win. With that win Olympiacos claimed the 40th champion in his history. He also scored in the final match of the season, against Panionios GSS in a 2-1 home win after an assist of Ariel Ibagaza.
From June 2012, Papadopoulos seems that his injury will follow him during the 2013/14 season. This year, the club's captain puzzled by various mishaps, but even so, he managed to show off what "metal" is made off. Papadopoulos was the one who had the most life-saving "interventions" throughout the season. Arguably Avraam was by far one of the best defenders for his club.
- As of 30 March 2014
Greek national football team
He had been capped for Greece U-21 for several times. After impressing Greece coach Otto Rehhagel, He was called to the Greek national football team for the first time on 1 February 2008 and made his debut in the win over the Czech Republic on 5 February.
In 2010, Papadopoulos played for Greece at the 2010 World Cup. He was later a regular squad member of Greece as they went unbeaten through qualifying for Euro 2012. In the finals, however, Papadopoulos was injured in the opening game against Poland and missed the rest of the tournament.
He made his come back with the national squad on March 23, 2013 during the World Cup 2014 qualification game in Bosnia/Herzegovina, (lost 3-1). Since the end of the qualifying rounds he hasn't appeared in the team managed by Fernando Santos. Avraam was called from Greek national manager Fernando Santos to the 30 man provisional World Cup squad, but he did not make it to be the final 23-man squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- "Stats Centre: Arvaam Papadopoulos Facts". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- "Aris-Zaragoza 1-0". 20 September 2007.
- "Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος: Η καρδιά μας έχει κρυώσει…". 1 July 2008.
- "Olympiakos Piraeus President Suspect in Match-Fixing Scandal". 24 June 2011.
- Η μεγάλη επιστροφή Αβραάμ!
- "Team of the season". Ολυμπιακός-ΑΕΚ 3-0. 10 March 2013.
- "Βράχος ο Αβρααμ!". gavros.gr. 2014-04-30.
- Greece bearing gifts for Stoltidis
- Greece loses Avraam Papadopoulos
- "Greece World Cup 2014 squad". telegraph.co.uk. 19 May 2014.