Giannis Fetfatzidis

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Giannis Fetfatzidis
Fetfatzidis.JPG
Fetfatzidis in 2012
Personal information
Full name Ioannis Fetfatzidis
Date of birth (1990-12-21) 21 December 1990 (age 23)
Place of birth Drama, Greece
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder / Winger
Club information
Current team
Genoa
Number 10
Youth career
2004–2009 Olympiacos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2013 Olympiacos 53 (5)
2013– Genoa 31 (2)
National team
2010–2011 Greece U21 3 (0)
2010– Greece 19 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 June 2014

Ioannis "Giannis" Fetfatzidis (Greek: Ιωάννης Φετφατζίδης; born 21 December 1990) is a Greek footballer who currently plays for Genoa and the Greek national team. Primarily a winger, Fetfatzidis is a mazy dribbler with excellent ball control. His incisiveness is also aided by his impressive pace, which helps him beat opponents.[1]

Early years[edit]

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 FC's Acadmies. 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.[2]

Club Career[edit]

Olympiacos[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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. The 2012/13 season proved a major disappointment as he was left out of Olympiacos line-up regularly, clocking up just 12 league appearances. Despite that, the 22-year-old scored a sublime goal against Panthrakikos in the Greek Cup semi-finals, dribbling past five opponents along the way. [5] 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.[6] Under Spanish coach Míchel, Fetfatzidis got more playing time at the club.

Genoa[edit]

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. Ioannis Fetfatzidis has admitted that he has been struck by the level of support the Genoa fans have shown since his arrival. “The stadium is beautiful and the fans have really hit me,” he told reporters. “Football is clearly very popular in this city. I have not been on a tour of the city yet, but I will very soon. That’ll be the first step towards me acclimatization. “My ambitions? I just want to work. And if I do that, then I’m sure I can have my say”, he said in his first interview. [7]

Undoubtedly after few games with Genoa, the Greek winger had already impressed sufficiently at the Italian club to have attracted the interest of several top European sides. Scouts from Fulham and Everton have been spotted at Genoa's home games and are believed to have been impressed with the performances of the 5 foot 5 winger. Moreover, Fetfatzidis has been linked with a move to the Premier League as Roberto Martinez has reportedly identified the 22-year-old as a possible signing for the January transfer window. However, it is understood that Genoa are currently only willing to sell if a team will match their 9 million Euro valuation. [8]

He made his first appearance with the club on 21 September 2013 in a home 0-0 draw against Livorno as a substitute. On 26 March 2014, he scored his first goal with the club in 2-0 home win against Lazio. [9] On 18 May 2014, Genoa have recorded a 1-0 win over Roma in last season's game for Serie A at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The Giallorossi got a number of chances to open the scoring, but were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal by Giannis Fetfatzidis' winner. Genoa then went 1-0 up in the closing stages of the game against the run of play when Fetfatzidis found the goal with a calm finish. [10]

International career[edit]

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.

Fetfatzidis scored his second and third goals for his country on 3 June against Malta during a Euro 2012 qualifying game.[11]

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Club Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Olympiacos 2009–10 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
2010–11 19 2 3 0 2 1 24 3
2011–12 17 3 3 0 2 1 22 4
2012–13 12 0 8 2 2 0 22 2
2013–14 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Genoa
2013–14 31 2 0 0 0 0 31 2
Career total 84 7 14 2 7 2 105 11

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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

Style of Play[edit]

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. Predominantly left-footed, he can play anywhere across midfield or the front-line, both able to create and finish with great aplomb, although many feel his finishing is the weakest part of his game. [12]

Honours[edit]

Olympiacos

References[edit]