Gounaris was a fullback far ahead of his time. In the early 1970s he became known for his plowing runs down the whole right wing, transitioning defence into offence. His partnership with PAOK's left fullback Kostas Iosifidis became formidable not only for PAOK, but for the Greek National team as well. The two backs played a vital role in the team that won PAOK its first ever championship. The duo would go on to play in 7 cup finals for PAOK, from 1970 through to 1978. Although Iosifidis decided to remain at PAOK for the duration of his career, Gounaris transferred to PAOK's most fierce rival Olympiacos F.C., once his twelve-year contract expired. PAOK's fans never forgave him for what they saw as betrayal, but his fatal crosses and unceasing runs fown the flank ensured that he would always be part of the club's history.
After his retirement as a football player, he went on to manage PAOK F.C. in the nineties, as well as having a very brief tenure with Olympiacos F.C.