Efstathios Tavlaridis

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Stathis Tavlaridis
Στάθης Ταυλαρίδης
Personal information
Full name Efstathios Tavlaridis
Date of birth (1980-01-25) 25 January 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Serres, Greece
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Atromitos
Number 4
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2001 Iraklis 66 (1)
2001–2004 Arsenal 1 (0)
2003 Portsmouth (loan) 4 (0)
2003–2004 Lille (loan) 16 (0)
2004–2007 Lille 77 (2)
2007–2010 Saint-Étienne 65 (0)
2010–2011 Larissa 24 (0)
2011–2012 OFI Crete 25 (0)
2012– Atromitos 51 (4)
National team
1999–2002 Greece U21 19 (2)
2005 Greece 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 2 June 2012

Efstathios Tavlaridis (Greek: Στάθης Ταυλαρίδης; born 25 January 1980 in Serres), commonly known as Stathis Tavlaridis, is a Greek football defender currently playing for Greek Superleague club Atromitos. Tavlaridis has earned the nickname "Taureau" in France which means "The Bull" due to his aggressive style of play.

Career[edit]

Iraklis F.C. and England (Arsenal, Portsmouth)[edit]

He started his career at Iraklis Thessaloniki and in 2001 was transferred to Arsenal at the age of 21 for £1m. He never fully broke into the first team, unable to displace Sol Campbell and Kolo Touré, and spent a period on loan to Portsmouth. He made eight appearances for Arsenal, all but one of them in the League Cup. He made his Premier league debut in 2002–03 season against Southampton,[2] where Arsenal rested many of their players for the upcoming FA Cup Final, also against Southampton. In early 2004 he was loaned to Lille OSC and the deal was made permanent that summer.

Lille OSC[edit]

On April 29 he was transferred from Arsenal to Lille OSC on a four-year contract. He had a successful spell with the club which meant that during the summer of 2007, he was creating a lot of interest from other clubs.Throughout his career in Lille has succeeded to play at 12 games in both Champions League and UEFA. Among them, on 30 October 2006 is determined to impress as he returns home to his native Greece for Lille OSC game against AEK. Lille OSC paid AEK a visit two years ago but Tavlaridis, a rock at the heart of their defence, missed the 2-1 UEFA Cup group stage win. Now, having played his part in a 3-1 win against AEK in France on Matchday 3, he is eager to play his first game in Greece since taking his career abroad five years ago. "I'm happy to have played the first leg and will be happier to feature in the second," he stated. "I want to show everyone how I have developed," he said. "I'll give everything to win this game." Tavlaridis's desire to impress may have something to do with the fact that he feels he has never been given a fair chance in the national team, although he insists that is not the case. "Being famous in my home country is not important to me," he said. "We know that national coach Otto Rehhagel has his favourite players. I'm not one of them. End of story."[3]

Saint-Étienne[edit]

Despite being linked with a hosts of Ligue 1 clubs, notably Bordeaux, Marseille, and Monaco, Tavlaridis announced that he was signing with AS Saint-Étienne for €2.5m after agreeing to a three-year deal with the club. Tavlaridis was handed the number 4 shirt and quickly inserted into the first eleven forming partnerships with Moustapha Bayal Sall. Tavlaridis made his debut against his former club Lille and was applauded by the Lille home fans.

Tavlaridis got off to a great start for the 2007–08 season scoring his first goal with AS Saint-Étienne in a 2–1 victory over Sochaux the following week. Tavlaridis was named as the club's permanent captain by manager Alain Perrin following the first league match of the 2009–10 Ligue 1 season, after having served as vice-captain the previous season. Tavlaridis has played 69 Ligue 1 appearances and has scored twice. Tavlaridis was removed as captain shortly due to his long-term injury playing only six matches.

Tavlaridis is out of contract in the summer with AS Saint-Étienne and a number of Premier League clubs are believed to be prepared to offer him a route back to England. The 29-year-old spent three years at Arsenal but failed to establish himself in the first-team due to the form of the likes of Sol Campbell and Martin Keown. "I have enjoyed my time in France with Lille and St Etienne, but I would like to try my luck again in England," Tavlaridis told skysports.com. "I did not have much of a chance at Arsenal because of the players in front of me and I had to leave. I feel I am a better player now having had the experience of playing in the Champions League for Lille OSC. I am out of contract in June and I would love to have the chance to play in England again. I feel I could do a good job for anyone in the Premier League as I am a stronger and more experienced player." [4]

Larissa[edit]

On 30 April 2010 Larissa announced that an agreement had been reached with the 29-year-old centre-back who will join the club in the summer on a free transfer, when his contract with les Verts has been finally wound down. Nicknamed ‘Taureau’ in France because of his bullish style of play, the Greek was initially a success in Ligue 1 with Lille OSC and then AS Saint-Étienne, though he fell out of favour at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard earlier this season under head coach Alain Perrin. When the former Olympique Lyonnais boss was axed, Tavlaridis had an immediate chance to impress under Christophe Galtier, though his red card against Olympique de Marseille 10 minutes into Galtier’s first game in charge effectively ended his first team career with les Verts. Speaking to his future club’s official website, the Greece international confessed: “I admit that initially my priority was to continue my career abroad. I had set a deadline of April if I was going to return to Greece, for a return after nine years requires serious preparation, since I now have a family. I had suggestions from three or four Greek clubs, but after much careful consideration, decided to accept that the offer of Larissa.” [5][6] Tavlaridis confessed there was a concrete offer from the Greek side last January, though he rejected this as he was expecting the birth of his second child. A four-year deal has been penned with the Super League side, who finished the league campaign in eighth.

On 9 August 2011, however, Tavlaridis terminated his contract following the team's relegation to the Football League.[7]

OFI Crete[edit]

On 24 August 2011, Tavlaridis signed a one-year contract for OFI Crete, who then were newly promoted to the Greek Superleague.[8] Stathis Taflaridis said "yes" to the proposal of OFI and the player will struggle for Heraklion team for the next two years. The ex-footballer and president of the club Nikos Machlas wanted to add to the roster of the team a very experienced defender, which could be also plays the role of the defence leader. The annual salary fixed to €150,000.[9] However, due to the club's financial difficulties and payment inconsistencies, he decided to leave the club on 24 April 2012, after the 2011–12 campaign for OFI was over.[10]

Atromitos[edit]

On 2 June 2012, Tavlaridis agreed to sign for Atromitos Athens.[11][12] Tavlaridis after the signature said: "I chose Atromitos Athens as the next stop of my career, because it is a serious and organized group. However, the presence of Mr. George Spanos, gives me the security I need as he is a serious president who promises in today's reality is something really scarce. At this stage therefore I need a club like Atromitos Athens where in the recent years besides the creation of a good team ,offers to the player all the amenities and services in order to send his best on the pitch. It is true that I received recommendations from several people who forced me to sign with the club. Atromitos Athens through his technical director Yiannis Angelopoulos showed me a comprehensive plan. So I think that is the team that suits me more. An additional motivation is of course the presence of Dusan Bajevic, whose skills and successes are well known. I do not like promises but I tried my best to fulfill the goals of the club."[12]

On February 2014, Tavlaridis agreed to expand his contact till June 2016.[13]

International career[edit]

Tavlaridis has only managed to play twice for the Greek national football team having fallen out of favor with coach Otto Rehhagel as well as Akis Zikos, Ieroklis Stoltidis, Grigoris Georgatos, Nikos Lyberopoulos and Vassilis Tsartas. He has not been featured in the squad since 2005.[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]