Holebas with Greece in 2013.
|Full name||José Holebas|
|Date of birth||27 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Aschaffenburg, West Germany|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Left back, Left midfielder|
|TSV Teutonia Obernau|
|2002–2005||SV 1910 Aschaffenburg-Damm|
|2006–2007||1860 München II||47||(12)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
José Holebas (Greek: Χοσέ Χολέβας) also known as Iosif Cholevas (Greek: Ιωσήφ Χολέβας) (born 27 June 1984) is a German-born Greek footballer who currently plays for Olympiacos and the Greek national football team.
Family, Early Life and Career
José Holebas was born in Aschaffenburg, West Germany to a Greek father and a Uruguayan mother. His father comes from Trikala, Greece and was a footballer of a local group in the city called "Royal Thunder". But eventually he stopped playing football early after copping a serious injury and then emigrated to West Germany where he worked as a waiter. It was there he met his first wife who comes from Uruguay. Eventually they married and had José in the city of Aschaffenburg. Soon the marriage dissolved and José grew up with his mother. While growing up in Germany, José took up an interest in football and he played for a variety of different youth teams. He began his career with FC Südring in 1991 where he played as a striker. He then went on to join his second team FC Kleinwallstadt and eventually he went on to join TSV Teutonia Obernau. When his girlfriend became pregnant in 2001, Holebas ended his involvement in football. In addition, he broke of an apprenticeship he was doing and eventually ended up working shifts as a Warehouseman. Holebas returned to playing football after a 1 year break in 2002 where eventually he signed for German lower league Aschaffenburg based club SV 1910 Aschaffenburg-Damm.
Signing with Aschaffenburg-Damm meant that Holebas began his first team career in his home town. José played for the club for 3 years from 2002–2005. After the 2004–05 season, he decided to sign for Viktoria Kahl, another German lower league club.
José only spent 1 year playing with Viktoria in the 2005–06 season where he made a great personal impact. In the season, he played 33 games and scored 15 goals for the club, also adding to this by putting in many great performances for his team. His great form and performances from his 1 year with Kahl and his promising talent, eventually caught the attention of 2. Bundesliga club TSV 1860 München who eventually became aware of him. Holebas was then on the move again when eventually he signed for the Munich based club in 2006.
When Holebas arrived at the club in the summer of 2006 and although the 22 year old was considered too old by youth academy coach Ernst Tanner, he was selected to play with 1860 München II, the second level team of the club. Holebas made his debut for the "Young Lions" on the 5th of August 2006 in a game against Hoffenheim. José played 47 games and scored 12 goals after his first year with club in the 2006-07 season with the second team. In the summer of 2007, Holebas was appointed up to the first team. In September 2007, José officially made his professional footballing debut for 1860 in a 2.Bundesliga game against St. Pauli. In the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, Holebas played as an attacking midfielder. In the summer of 2009, the new coach of TSV 1860 München Ewald Lienen advised Holebas to change his playing style from an attacker to a more defensive style of player where he selected him to play as a left back or in central defence. Although he was a defensive player, Holebas still proved he was an attacking threat in both categories of scoring and setting up goals, he was also good with free-kicks. At the end of the 2009-10 season, Holebas played 31 games, scored 4 goals with 3 assists in the league. After the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in the pre-season leading into the 2010-11 season Ewald Lienen left the Munich Lions as he was appointed as the new coach of Greek giants Olympiacos. After the appointment, Ewald offered José a contract to join him at the Piraeus based club. Holebas accepted the offer and signed a 3-year contract for Olympiacos for a transfer fee of around €500,000 plus €200,000 future incentives with a €200,000 annual salary, with the addition of a 20% annual increase clause. With his stint in Munich now over, Holebas overall spent 4 years with the club where he played the 2006-07 season with the second team and the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the first team where he played 74 matches in the 2. Bundesliga scoring 7 goals and played seven times in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) in the process.
When Holebas arrived in Greece, he stated that he was pleased to be playing in his ancestral country. He made his debut with Olympiacos F.C. in a 5–0 victory against Besa in the Europa League. After the team's short-lived European experience, Lienen was sacked and replaced with Ernesto Valverde, which at first meant minimal appearances and game time for Holebas, especially since Olympiacos had players like Raul Bravo and Albert Riera on the left side. Holebas officially made his professional debut in top division football when he played in Olympiacos's first league game of the Superleague season in a 2-1 away defeat against Iraklis Thessaloniki. As the season went on, José exceedingly increased his training rate and efforts and eventually coach Valverde was convinced about him and his game time increased consistently through the remainder of the season. He also scored his first goal for the club in the championship in a 6–0 victory against AEK Athens. His speed and strength played a huge role in Olympiacos' efforts into winning their 38th Championship title, finishing in 1st place 13 points clear of the club's Greatest Rivals and defending champions Panathinaikos in 2nd place and in addition, helping the club to qualify for the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League. In European competition, Holebas played apart in Olympiacos's very surprisingly and shockingly getting eliminated in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League 2–2 (away goals) on aggeragette by Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv one of the clubs worst ever performances in Europe to date.
After the departure of both Bravo and Riera in the summer of 2011, Holebas was promoted into the starting lineup, playing either as left wingback or as left winger, depending on the opponent. After a streak of great performances and another crucial goal against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League – no one could argue about his presence in the team anymore. He scored his first goal and a fantastic one against OFI Crete in a 2–0 away win. This goal won him an award. His second goal came against Aris Thessaloniki F.C. from the penalty spot in a 3–0 home win. Holebas finished the Greek Superleague with two goals and four assists in 23 matches which helped win Olympiacos their second Greek league title in a row and 39th overall, again finishing in 1st place 7 points clear again of Greatest Rivals Panathinaikos in 2nd place and in addition, helping the club to qualify for the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League. He also managed to help contribute to Olympiacos by helping the club win their 25th Greek Cup title in a 2–1 victory in extra time over Atromitos in the final at the Athens Olympic Stadium. In Europe, Holebas played apart in Olympiacos finishing in 3rd place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League behind English club Arsenal and French club Marseille and ahead of German club Borussia Dortmund then eventually in the club finishing getting knocked out 2–2 (away goals) on aggeragette by Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv in the round of 16 in the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa League.
Holebas scored his first goal of the season against Panthrakikos F.C. in a 4–1 home win. He also scored an amazing goal from a free kick against Asteras Tripolis F.C. with his shot ending up in a 1–0 home win. His next goal, which was also astonishing, came against Skoda Xanthi F.C. in a 4–0 home win. He also managed to score against Aris Thessaloniki F.C. in a 2–2 away draw. Holebas finished the first half of Greek Superleague with 4 goals in 15 appearances. He also contributed three assists. He made his fourth assist, by assisting Pablo Contreras's goal against Panthrakikos F.C. in a 1–0 away win. He ended the season in the Greek Superleague with eight assists and four goals in 28 appearances which helped win Olympiacos their third Greek league championship in a row and their record 40th title overall in the club's history, once again finishing in 1st place 15 points clear of Rivals PAOK in 2nd place and helping the club to qualify for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League. He also managed to again help contribute to Olympiacos by helping the club win another Greek Cup title, so therefor another (Double) in a 3–1 victory again in extra time, but this time over Asteras Tripolis F.C. in the final at the Athens Olympic Stadium. On the European scene, Holebas played apart in Olympiacos again finishing in 3rd place in their group in the Champions League behind German club Schalke 04 and English club Arsenal and ahead of French club Montpellier then eventually in the club finishing getting eliminated by Spanish club Levante 4–0 on aggeragette in the round of 32 in the knockout phase of the Europa League.
Holebas made his first appearance of the 2013–2014 season in Olympiacos's 1–0 away victory over newly promoted Kalloni in the opening round of their Greek League Championship defence. On 24 August 2013 according to a Greek sports website, it stated that Holebas was left out of the team to play in the club's round 2 league match against Atromitos by coach Míchel for something apparently in relation to something about his contract and that the Greek international was also apparently offered to join Turkish club Beşiktaş. Reports in the Turkish press suggested that the Istanbul based club had offered Holebas a three-year contract worth nearly €1 million per season while an estimated transfer fee of around €2 million had been reportedly tabled by the Black Eagles. Holebas was again left out of the Olympiacos squad in their 5–0 away victory over Levadiakos in round 3 of their Superleague campaign. After weeks of speculation, no transfer deal with the Turks for Holebas was ever made in the remaining duration of the summer transfer window after fresh reports from Turkey indicated that Beşiktaş had dropped their interest in the left-back after a disagreement between the two clubs regarding a transfer fee. On 14 September 2013, Holebas returned to action for Olympiacos by coming on as a 37th minute substitute for Gaëtan Bong in the club's 4–0 home victory over Skoda Xanthi F.C. making it 4 wins in the first 4 matches for the club in the Super League. He scored his first goal of the season in a home 5–1 league win against OFI Crete with a wonderful free kick.
He had impressed the Greek national team's coach Fernando Santos and was advised to set the actions in motion to obtain a Greek passport, for which he was eligible due to his Greek father. After many months of bureaucratic issues, he received his new passport on 3 November 2011 and was immediately called up for the national team's imminent friendly match against Russia and in that match, he became the first Greek with a mixture of South American ethnicity since Pavlos Papaioannou to play for the country. He made his debut against Russia, on 11 November 2011 in a 1–1 draw, showing excellent signs of acceleration, forward runs and determination in the game, thus receiving praise and recognition by the media. After a good 2011–12 season with Olympiacos and good performances with the national team in a number of friendly matches, Cholevas was good enough to be called up by Greece to go to Euro 2012, where he played as their first choice left back for the tournament. He played in all 3 of Greece's Group phase matches against Poland (1–1 draw), Czech Republic (2–1 loss), Russia (1–0 win) and because of receiving a yellow card against the Russians, missed out in Greece's Quarter final match against Germany which the Greeks lost 4–2. Cholevas played apart in his country finishing quarter finalists at the Euros. On 14 November 2012, Cholevas scored his first goal for Greece in a Friendly match against the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, earning a hard and tough 1–0 away victory for his country. In a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match, Cholevas set up the match winning goal for Greece with a magnificent long swinging delivery ball which was headed in on the far post by Lazaros Christodoulopoulos in a 1–0 away victory over Lithuania. On 6 September 2013 in another 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match, Cholevas was booked for a yellow card twice and then red carded in his country's 1–0 away victory over Liechtenstein. Cholevas returned to action for the Greek national team on 11 October 2013 in the Greeks crucial 1–0 home victory over Slovakia in their second last match of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. At the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Cholevas contributed to helping Greece qualify for their third FIFA World Cup finals appearance for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
- Scores and results list Greece's goal tally first.
|1||14 November 2012||Aviva Stadium, Dublin||Republic of Ireland||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
- Superleague Greece: 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13
- Greek Cup: 2012, 2013
- Cinco Violinos Trophy: 2012 Silver Medal
Holebas has one daughter named Tanisha Holebas (b. 2002), with whom he had at 18 in with his then girlfriend and later on married to German woman, Diana Juncker. They got married in 2011.
Holebas is fluent in German and English and can speak a little bit of Greek.
- "José Holebas". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 1 July 2012.