Giorgos Karagounis

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Giorgos Karagounis
Karagounis 2008.jpg
Karagounis with Greece in 2008
Personal information
Full name Georgios Karagounis[1]
Date of birth (1977-03-06) 6 March 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Pyrgos, Greece
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Fulham
Number 14
Youth career
1993–1996 Panathinaikos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1998 Apollon Smyrni 55 (9)
1998–2003 Panathinaikos 118 (25)
2003–2005 Inter Milan 21 (0)
2005–2007 Benfica 45 (3)
2007–2012 Panathinaikos 133 (16)
2012– Fulham 39 (1)
National team
1996–1999 Greece U21 39 (11)
1999– Greece 132 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 March 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 October 2013

Georgios "Giorgos" Karagounis (Greek: Γιώργος Καραγκούνης; born 6 March 1977) is a Greek footballer who plays for Fulham in the English Premier League and captains the Greek national football team.

Karagounis represented Greece for the first time in 1999, and is currently the most capped player in the history of the national team. He scored the first goal of UEFA Euro 2004, a long range effort that helped his team to win the opening game of the tournament, in which the Greeks emerged as champions.[2]

Style of Playing[edit]

Karagounis is a midfielder that is short in stature, standing at only 5 feet 9 inches, but he is known for his tough, gritty play on the field. He gains many comparisons to “The General”, Mimis Domazos. Domazos is a retired Greek player that is widely regarded as one of the best football player in the history of Greece. He was known for his dribbling, and creative passing, especially the accuracy of his long passes. These are the same attributes that Karagounis has as a player. Karagounis has been described as a "dogged worker in the midfield and a deliverer of fine set plays". [3] [4]

Club career[edit]

Apollon Smyrni and Panathinaikos[edit]

Giorgos Karagounis officially began his Professional Footballing Career in 1996 when he signed for Apollon Smyrnis. In his first couple of years with the Athens based club, he already showed signs of supreme talent as he was a very energetic player in the centre of midfield and was a very regular Goalscorer with the club. After his first two seasons of his professional career with Apollon he then signed for Greek giants Panathinaikos in 1998. At Panathinaikos he was a fixture in the senior team for the next five years. Although Panathinaikos did not win an Alpha Ethniki title during these years, due to several contreversial reasons,[5] the team was always a contender, and it had good runs in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup, with Karagounis scoring crucial goals for the team. He scored six times in 24 league games in his first ever season with the Greens and in 2000–01, he appeared in all 12 of Panathanaikos' UEFA Champions League games, scoring a memorable goal from a direct free-kick against Manchester United at Old Trafford.[6] The following season, at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, he scored a wonderful goal against Arsenal, beating David Seaman by head and bringing his team to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.[7]


After his first seven years of his Professional Footballing Career, Giorgos moved overseas for the first ever time when he left Panathinaikos and Greece to move next door to Italy to sign for Italian Serie A club Inter Milan in the summer of 2003. During his first ever season with Inter, he unreguarly appeared for the club during the 2003–04 Top Division League season, mainly appearing in European (UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup) and Domestic Cup Matches. At the end of his first ever season in Italy and overseas, he wasn't a prominent figure for Inter in the league. Despite not being a prominent figure with Inter in the league who finished in a disappointing 4th place and city Rivals Milan winning the title, he still did enough to be called up to represent Greece at the 2004 UEFA European Championship in Portugal where he made his mark. After becoming a Greek Champion of UEFA Euro 2004 he returned to Italy for the 2004–05 season under a lot of expectations from himself and Inter supporters to be playing regurly for Inter in the league. Unfortunately for Giorgos, it was the same old story from the previous season, he again played unregularly in the Serie A under Roberto Mancini, again just mainly playing in European and the Domestic Cup. He won the Coppa Italia in the 2005 Final against AS Roma who contained fellow Greek International Team mate Traianos Dellas. At the end of the 2004–05 season Inter finished in a disappointing 3rd in the league with Juventus winning the title and finished Quarter Finalists in the UEFA Champions League, getting knocked out by Italian and City rivals AC Milan.


In 2005, he moved to Portugal to play for Benfica[8] based at the Estádio da Luz, precisely the same stadium where he won the Euro 2004 final for Greece. Karagounis stated, "I like Benfica. It's such a big club and I am honoured that they have great faith in me. I'm sure that my fellow Greeks are happy about my move here at Benfica." In July 2006, Karagounis scored a magnificent chip shot right out of the 18-yard line[9] against Shakhtar Donetsk which gave Benfica a 2–0 win. Karagounis' first season at Benfica was rough, as the Greek had trouble establishing as a key player. However, he achieved such a status on his second season at the club, throwing excellent performances, this time managed by Fernando Santos, who already knew Karagounis from Panathinaikos. Now, after a good two-year stay with Benfica, Karagounis seemed ready to return to play in Greece, again for Panathinaikos.


Allegedly, the player's family was not able to adapt to life in Lisbon and wished to move away from Portugal. Karagounis' contract with the Portuguese outfit was due to expire in July 2008, but the player and his manager negotiated his immediate departure.[10] After his release from Benfica in the summer of 2007, Karagounis immediately returned to Greece and returned to Panathinaikos, signing for the club for the next three years.[10] He quickly re-established himself with the team again scoring key goals in crucial games especially in Europe, in particular a wonderful volley against Werder Bremen.

On 3 September 2009, Karagounis extended his stay until 2012 and stated that he wants to end his career at the club.[11] As captain of the team of Athens he has won his second Super League (Greek league) and the Greek Cup.


Giorgos Karagounis playing for Fulham

On 11 September 2012, Karagounis again left Panathinaikos to move overseas again, this time to England where he joined Fulham on a free transfer until the end of the season after being released by Panathinaikos.[12] Giorgios Karagounis became the eighth Greek player that won Euro 2004 to play in the Premier League, after Nikos Dabizas, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Vassilios Lakis, Theodoros Zagorakis, Angelos Basinas and Kostas Chalkias. He officially made his debut for the club in the Premier League on 29 September 2012, against Manchester City at Craven Cottage, coming on in the 81st minute to replace Chris Baird.[13]

Karagounis played the full 90 minutes for the first ever time for Fulham in the Premier League in their 4–0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield. Karagounis scored his first ever goal for Fulham on 5 January 2013 in the FA Cup against Blackpool in the 80th minute, with a 'stunning 25-yard half-volley' which went in off the underside of the crossbar, equalising the goal of Ludovic Sylvestre and ending the game 1–1. This meant the two teams would face again and Battle again in a replay at Bloomfield Road.[14] On 12 January 2013 one week after his goal in the FA Cup, he scored his first goal in the Premier League against Wigan Athletic in the 22nd minute of the first half.[15]

Karagounis was one of twelve players released by Fulham at the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season.[16] During the last six months of the 2012/13 season, Karagounis made 9 appearances and played a total of 485 minutes. He scored one goal for the club. He also had 233 successful short passes, and 40 successful long passes over the course of the season, and conceded 11 goals. .[17] However on 9 July 2013 Karagounis signed a new 1 year contract extension which keeps him at Fulham until summer 2014.[18]

National team[edit]

Karagounis captaining Greece in 2010

Early years[edit]

Karagounis captained Greece's entry to the 1998 UEFA Under-21 Championship, and the team came very close to winning, losing 1–0 to Spain in the final. After that, he soon became a regular on the national team. He made his first full international appearance against El Salvador in 1999 and went on to appear in qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

UEFA Euro 2004 & beyond[edit]

The highlight of his international career was undoubtedly winning the European championship for Greece in Euro 2004. He was a key player for Greece and famously scored the first goal of the tournament against Portugal, a stunning long range shot that shocked the hosts and gave Greece the confidence they needed to win the game and progress in the tournament.[2] After winning Euro 2004, Karagounis continued to play on a regular basis for Greece in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, and the Euro 2008 finals. On 26 March 2008, Karagounis participated in a Greece-Portugal friendly match in Düsseldorf, Germany. This proved to be somewhat of a highlight of his international career as he scored two almost identical well-placed free-kicks to give Greece a 2–1 victory.[19]

Giorgios Karagounis as a captain of Greece contributed to the qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As captain, he led the Greek National team to its first win in a World Cup match with a 2–1 win against Nigeria. On 8 October 2010, against Latvia, Karagounis reached 100 appearances for the Greek national team equaling the record of his Euro 2004 winning ex-teammate Angelos Basinas. On 12 October 2010 Karagounis made his 101'st appearance, becoming the second most capped player in Greek footballing history behind Theodoros Zagorakis and scoring his seventh goal in the victory against the Israel national team. On 7 October 2011 Karagounis was awarded by Theodoros Zagorakis and Angelos Basinas for reaching 111 appearances with the Greek National Team. The awarding ceremony took place at Karaiskakis stadium before the kickoff of a football match against Croatia.

UEFA Euro 2012[edit]

Karagounis' penalty at Euro 2012, saved by Polish goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń

On 8 June 2012, Poland played with Greece on the opening day of Euro 2012. Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny fouled Greek international Dimitris Salpingidis, resulting in a red card for Szczęsny. Karagounis took the penalty against substitute goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń who saved his penalty.[20]

On 16 June 2012, Karagounis started the final game of Group A against Russia, making him their joint most capped player with 120 caps, together with Theodoros Zagorakis who held the record of national team appearances at the time. He scored the only goal of the game on the stroke of half time.[21] This meant Greece qualified for the next stage of the competition. In that same match, Karagounis received his second yellow card of the tournament causing him to miss the quarterfinals.[22]

"Karagounis is heir to the Greek and international football"

-Marca (newspaper) about Karagounis.[23]

Qualifying for World Cup 2014 and record[edit]

On 12 October 2012, he played in the second half in the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making the 121st appearance for his country. With this game, he set a new record of most caps for the Greece national football team. He also scored a great free-kick goal against Liechtenstein national football team.

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 5 September 2001 Helsinki, Finland  Finland 5–1 Loss 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier
2. 13 February 2002 Thessaloniki, Greece  Sweden 2–2 Draw Friendly Match
3. 12 June 2004 Porto, Portugal  Portugal 1–2 Win UEFA Euro 2004
4. 30 March 2005 Athens, Greece  Albania 2–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier
5. 26 March 2008 Düsseldorf, Germany  Portugal 1–2 Win Friendly Match
6. 26 March 2008 Düsseldorf, Germany  Portugal 1–2 Win Friendly Match
7. 12 October 2010 Athens, Greece  Israel 2–1 Win UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier
8. 15 November 2011 Altach, Austria  Romania 1–3 Loss Friendly Match
9. 16 June 2012 Warsaw, Poland  Russia 1–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012
10. 15 October 2013 Athens, Greece  Liechtenstein 2–0 Win 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Club statistics[edit]

As of 8 March 2014[24][25]
Club performance League Cup Europe Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Greece League Greek Cup Europe Total
1996–97 Apollon Smyrni Alpha Ethniki 31 2 2 0 33 2
1997–98 24 7 2 0 26 7
1998–99 Panathinaikos Alpha Ethniki 24 6 5 1 0 0 29 7
1999–00 27 9 4 2 5 0 36 11
2000–01 23 4 5 2 14 1 42 7
2001–02 21 3 5 0 15 3 41 6
2002–03 23 3 3 0 10 0 36 3
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
2003–04 Inter Milan Serie A 9 0 3 0 4 0 16 0
2004–05 12 0 5 0 3 0 20 0
Portugal League Portuguese Cup Europe Total
2005–06 Benfica Primeira Liga 19 1 4 0 7 0 30 1
2006–07 26 2 2 0 9 0 37 2
Greece League Greek Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Panathinaikos Superleague Greece 32 6 2 0 6 0 40 6
2008–09 24 7 1 0 10 3 35 10
2009–10 24 2 5 0 12 1 41 3
2010–11 28 0 2 0 4 0 34 0
2011–12 25 1 2 0 3 0 30 1
England League FA Cup/League Cup Europe Total
2012–13 Fulham Premier League 25 1 3 1 28 2
2013–14 14 0 5 1 19 1
Career Total 410 54 60 7 102 8 572 69

Personal life[edit]

After signing for Fulham, Karagounis moved into a Thames-side flat, becoming neighbours with Chelsea midfielders Juan Mata and Oscar.[26]



Inter Milan


Greece U21
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Angelos Basinas
Greece captain
Succeeded by


  1. ^ "Barclays Premier League Squad Numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Player review article, July 2004
  3. ^ "Greece:Giorgos Karagounis". 
  4. ^ Wilson, Jonathan. "Euro 2012 Preview: Greece". Sports IIlustrated. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Manchester United – Panathinaikos Independent article, November 2000
  7. ^ "Arsenal wilt in Athens heat". BBC. 26 September 2001. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Benfica sign Karagounis CNN article, August 2005
  9. ^ Match report a-bole-e-redonda article, 6 July
  10. ^ a b Greek article on Karagounis article, July 2007
  11. ^ Karagounis signs new contract with Panathinaikos
  12. ^ "Karagounis Signs". Fulham FC. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Fulham 1–2 Manchester City". Fulham FC. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Fulham 1–1 Blackpool". BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Fulham 1 Wigan 1: Serious knee injury to Ramis takes gloss off Latics fighback". Daily Mail. 12 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Summer transfer window: Ins and Outs". Premier League. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Greece:Giorgos Karagounis". 
  18. ^ "Giorgos Karagounis signs on at Fulham for 2013/4 season". Sky Sports News. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  19. ^ Greece – Portugal article, March 2008
  20. ^ "Poland 1 Greece 1". BBC Sport. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  21. ^ Wilson, Paul (16 June 2012). "Euro 2012: Giorgos Karagounis avoids Greece exit and makes Russia pay". The Guardian. Warsaw. 
  22. ^ "Sweet result, personal bitterness for Karagounis". The Times of Malta. 18 June 2012. 
  23. ^ ""Παγκόσμια κληρονομιά" ο Καραγκούνης". Marca. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  24. ^ "Giorgos Karagounis profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "Giorgos Karagounis profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "Greek torments keeping Giorgos Karagounis outside cosy football bubble". Guardian. 6 April 2013. 

External links[edit]