Fetfatzidis in 2012
|Full name||Ioannis Fetfatzidis|
|Date of birth||21 December 1990|
|Place of birth||Drama, Greece|
|Height||1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder / Winger|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 March 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Ioannis "Giannis" Fetfatzidis (Greek: Ιωάννης Φετφατζίδης; born 21 December 1990), also called simply "Fetfa" by fans, is a Greek footballer who currently plays for Genoa and the Greek national team. He is a very versatile left-footed winger known for his pace, dribbling skills and agility. Because of these attributes, he is known as the "Greek Messi."
Fetfatzidis began playing football in the Vouliagmeni academies at age six. His father was also a footballer for the lower league Glyfada Thunder. Fetfatzidis most significant spells were at the Glyfada and Sourmena Academies. He left Sourmena FC's youth team in 2004 at age 12 after he was spotted by coach Kostas Arzenis (Olympiacos Academies) and although there was competition from AEK Athens and Panathinaikos, he joined Olympiacos who helped him with his growth hormone treatment.
Fetfatzidis made his debut with Olympiacos in the Greek championship during the 2009–10 season, participating in the win against Atromitos on 31 October 2009. Manager Zico gave him his Champions League debut against Standard Liège on 4 November 2009 in Liège, Belgium, substituting Luciano Galletti in the 39th minute of play.
On 15 July 2010, in Tirana, Albania, he made his first appearance in the Europa League against Besa Kavajë, replacing Jaouad Zairi in the 75th minute. Fetfatzidis scored his first European goal in the home match against Besa Kavajë in G. Karaiskakis Stadium in a high-scoring victory for Olympiacos. The match ended 6–1. Fetfatzidis scored his first goal in the Greek Superleague against Skoda Xanthi on 16 October 2010, replacing Dennis Rommedahl in the match. The match ended in a 0–3 victory for Olympiacos. His second goal was scored against Larissa in the last match of the season.
In early September 2010, Olympiacos extended his contract until 2015, increasing his wages and putting a €12.5 million release clause on his contract. On 23 November 2011, Fetfatzidis gave Olympiacos a 1–0 victory over Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League by scoring in the 82nd minute at the Stade Vélodrome, placing them in third place in Group F.
Controversy followed the player in 2012. To everyone's surprise, despite helping Greece qualify for UEFA Euro 2012 with matching-winning qualifying goals, Fetfatzidis was quickly dropped from the first team when the tournament finally arrived and spent the whole competition on the bench. Bizarrely at Olympiacos during the same season, despite having better goal/minute and assist/minute ratios than first team wingers like Djamel Abdoun, Fetfatzidis found himself planted to the bench for most the 2011–12 season.
To further confuse the issue, from the start of the 2012–13 season, despite an excellent 2012 pre-season, Fetfatzidis was again largely ignored at Olympiacos. This prompted questions from the media about why he was abandoned as a player, with Sakis Tsiolis and other competing clubs' managers openly questioning why he is not being played despite outshining his peers and drawing comparisons to Kyriakos Papadopoulos's treatment at Olympiacos years previous. Under Spanish coach Míchel, Fetfatzidis got more playing time at the club.
Fetfatzidis became on September 2013 the most expensive Greek player to move out of the Super League this summer by securing a 4 million-euro transfer from Olympiacos to Serie A club Genoa. The Greece attacking midfielder, has accepted the improved offer by Genoa that will earn him 500,000 euros per year. The deal also contains a clause providing for Genoa to give Olympiacos 25 percent of the money it will get when it sells Fetfatzidis to another club in the future. The 23-year-old Drama-born player is a product of the Olympiacos academy and was eager to play in Italy. "I wish to thank [Olympiakos president] Vangelis Marinakis for helping me make my dream come true," said Fetfatzidis.
Style of Play
A skillful attacking midfielder, Fetfatzidis is known for his passing and his ability to score goals. At 5'5" he has a medium build that further facilitates agile mobility, Fetfatzidis possesses great vision that allows him to provide assists to accompanying forwards.
Fetfatzidis made his debut with Greece in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying, participating in the 1–0 win over Latvia on 8 October 2010 at the G. Karaiskakis Stadium as an 82nd minute substitution for Sotiris Ninis. In the following game against Israel, he was substituted early for Ninis, who picked up an injury. On 9 February 2011, he scored his first goal for the national team at the AEL FC Arena in Larissa in a friendly match against Canada that Greece won 1–0.
|1.||9 February 2011||Larissa, Greece||Canada||1–0||Win||Friendly Match|
|2.||3 June 2011||Piraeus, Greece||Malta||3–1||Win||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier|
|3.||3 June 2011||Piraeus, Greece||Malta||3–1||Win||UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier|
- Superleague Greece: 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13
- Greek Cup : 2012
- Cinco Violinos Trophy: 2012 Silver Medal
- "Στοιχεία παίκτη: Φετφατζίδης Ιωάννης" (in Greek). Insports.gr. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- "Olympiacos Excited About Greek Messi Fetfatzidis". insidefutbol.com. Retrieved 22 December 2013.