Kostas Katsouranis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kostas Katsouranis
20130814 AT-GR Kostas Katsouranis 2403.jpg
Katsouranis with Greece in 2013
Personal information
Full name Konstantinos Katsouranis
Date of birth (1979-06-21) 21 June 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth Patras, Greece
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defensive midfielder / Centre back
Youth career
Doxa Chalandritsa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2002 Panachaiki 123 (14)
2002–2006 AEK Athens 110 (29)
2006–2009 Benfica 80 (10)
2009–2012 Panathinaikos 88 (19)
2012–2014 PAOK 48 (6)
National team
1999–2002 Greece U21 22 (1)
2003–2014 Greece 114 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 June 2014

Konstantinos "Kostas" Katsouranis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος "Κώστας" Κατσουράνης; born 21 June 1979) is a Greek footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder and currently is a free agent.

Style of Play[edit]

Katsouranis can play in various positions, characteristic shared with Ruud Gullit as a result of the combination of his technique, speed and strength. He has been described as "a reasonable goal threat despite being notionally a defensive midfielder".[1] A fine passer of the ball, Katsouranis is also strong in the air and has excellent positioning defensively. However, it is his natural attacking instinct that makes him such a valuable footballer, able to ghost into the box with regularity despite usually playing in a deep-lying midfield role. Over his club career and at times for the national team, he has proved to be a natural finisher, scoring a variety of goals and crucial ones at that. His ability to offer an attacking threat without compromising his defensive duties means he is the embodiment of a box-to-box midfielder.[2]

Club career[edit]

Panachaiki[edit]

He was not even 17 years old when he debuted in the 1996–97 season for the Patras-based club Panachaiki. He spent six seasons there and, by the third, was a regular starter.

When his contract with Panachaiki expired, Katsouranis decided that it was time to move forward to a bigger club. He opened negotiations with Panathinaikos, but the coach, Fernando Santos, decided to sign Portuguese Carlos Chaínho, a player he knew when at FC Porto, which meant Katsouranis' transfer would not be finalized.

Olympiacos then approached the Greek. The talks with the vice-president of the club, Giorgos Louvaris, seemed final, but Louvaris asked Katsouranis to wait until the president, Sokratis Kokkalis, returned from a business trip to the United States for the final negotiations. But former AEK Athens president Chrysostomos Psomiadis took advantage of the situation and convinced the promising midfielder to sign a three-year contract with AEK Athens.

AEK Athens[edit]

Coming off the bench and making an impressive debut for the club, Katsouranis immediately became an integral part of the club. His continuing progress in the top-level rapidly made him the team's best player and a first team regular with great performances, both domestically and in European competition. He was used mainly as a central midlfielder but also can be used in the wings.

When the 2004/05 season began, Katsouranis was still at AEK despite several attractive offers, having agreed a new three-year contract while most of his team-mates from the previous campaign had acted on their frustration and left. In the fevered atmosphere that saw AEK's gates quadruple as fans flocked to support the club under new owner Demis Nikolaidis, Katsouranis - who joined in 2002 from Panachaiki- adopted a special place in supporters' hearts.[3]

The 2004–05 season would prove to be one Katsouranis' finest seasons with the club, as he scored 10 times in 28 appearances from the defensive midfielder spot, leading the club in a hard battle for the title. AEK managed to finish third when many had expected a mid-table performance. Werder Bremen expressed strong interest for the Greek international but Katsouranis together with president Demis Nikolaidis decided to reject the offer.

Despite radical changes to the squad in the first season under Nikolaidis, players, fans and club staff came together to create a carnival atmosphere at every AEK game. Led by captain Katsouranis, the team responded with some heroic performances, only missing the championship on the final day of the campaign. Everyone connected with the club was united for one purpose: the team, said Katsouranis. First we had to make the club financially healthy, and then to make sure everything was well organised.[4] In the 2005–06 season, Katsouranis led the club to a second place finish in the league, which brought them into the UEFA Champions League. At the end of the season, manager Fernando Santos was sacked and Katsouranis wanted to leave to a bigger club and further his career abroad. He then signed with SL Benfica of Portugal, managed by Fernando Santos, for a fee of €3.5 million plus the proceeds of friendly match in Athens between the two clubs.[5]

S.L. Benfica[edit]

Katsouranis signed a four-year contract with SL Benfica on 22 June 2006, joining is ex-manager in Fernando Santos and fellow countryman Giorgos Karagounis. When he arrived in June, he said "Even if Fernando Santos or Karagounis were not here, I still would have joined. Benfica to me is one of Europe's top clubs and they proved that in the UEFA Champions League. I am here to achieve that same objective and joining Benfica can also help my international career."

In his first Portuguese derby, against FC Porto, he followed on to score for Benfica with a header following a corner kick, the second goal he has scored for Benfica in the league in just a few matches. Katsouranis quickly became a key player for Benfica, scoring some important goals and also captaining the team on a few occasions. He proved to be one of the most important imports into the 2006–07 Portuguese Liga, playing in 29 league matches and scoring six goals.

Despite interest from Valencia CF, Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, and Juventus, Benfica refused to sell the player, despite Juventus willing to trade Tiago for the Greek international. Benfica were relunctant to sell and, on 14 September 2007, Katsouranis agreed to a contract extension with Benfica for another two years.

On 2 March 2009, Katsouranis was named "Benfica Player of the Year".[6]

Panathinaikos[edit]

Katsouranis signed a four-year contract with Greek Super League club Panathinaikos, on 1 July 2009 on a fee of €3.5 million.[7] He has stated that it's the team he supported since childhood. He scored his first goal against Sparta Prague in the Champions League. He scored his first league goal against Skoda Xanthi on the 2nd matchday of the 2009–10 season. Katsouranis scoring abilities were a key part of Panathinaikos' good run during the first half of the season, as the defensive midfielder scored 8 goals in just half a season. He eneded the season with Panathinaikos managed to end the season positively by winning the double with the 2009–10 Greek Cup final against Aris Thessaloniki. Katsouranis ended his long wait for his first trophy by helping the Greens win the domestic double in his first season; was the team's second top scorer (behind Djibril Cissé) with eight goals in the Superleague Greece triumph.[8]

In October 2012, Panathinaikos president Giannis Alafouzos terminated his contract with the club, with Katsouranis paying the price for Tryfili's bad appearances at the start of the 2012–13 season.[9] Katsouranis has been serving a six-match suspension for verbally abusing a referee at in a Greek Super League match in August. Alafouzos reportedly told the rest of the squad that the player was “history” at Panathinaikos, whilst also expressing his displeasure about “two or three other[s]“, without going into specifics.[10]

Katsouranis encounters that gave and took many from the club. When signed with PAOK in December 2012, was not in the best moment of his career. He left Panathinaikos with rumours for a lot of problems with foreign players and the category of "the boss in changing rooms". Katsouranis never replied to a series of miseries which were released and related to him. He said "yes" to PAOK, not only because he wanted to prove that it can be helpful to club plans to become a champion, but also because he wanted to make it clear that working with people who trust him and with a serious administration, he will never be a problem for those who want to hide in the seatbacks and ask severe criticism. He succeeded in both. In fact few people know that he went to PAOK without the blessing of his former coach Giorgos Donis and needed only a few weeks to became one of his favourites.[11]

PAOK[edit]

Reports from Thessaloniki suggest that the defensive midfielder, who ended his contract with Panathinaikos by common consent in October 2012, will get €700,000 for this year and a half, plus any bonuses.It forms part of the policy of the new PAOK owner, Ivan Savvidis, who insisted on the acquisition of Greek internationals in order to boost both the strength of the roster and the prestige of the club.[12]

On 11 December 2012, he signed a contract until the end of the 2013–14 season with PAOK and made his club debut on 6 January 2013 against Panthrakikos. He would wear number 28 on his jersey. On 24 January, he scored his first goal with PAOK in the Greek Cup against Kallithea F.C.. On 3 March 2013 Katsouranis scored his first goal in the Greek Super League with PAOK in a 4-2 win against Panionios. He formed a strong partenship with Gordon Schildenfeld in the central defence reducing to a great extent the goals which PAOK condeded. On 27 August 2013 Katsouranis scored against Schalke 04 for the Play off Champions League in a 2-3 loss.[13]

In the 2013–14 season he was named vice-captain of the club behind Dimitris Salpingidis.He believes that PAOK needs time and patience to identify changes to a club that really tries to make a break with problematic situations and detach from stereotypical stories. He said that : What I see is that there is a plan. The fact that acquires so many Greek international footballers, shows in itself that is aiming a target. The challenge is to remain faithful to it and not skewed along the way. I have lived the same with AEK in summer of 2004. Then was not given so much money to the extent that PAOK does by acquiring reputable players. Along the way in AEK made other things than those envisaged in the initial plan leading the team to tabefaction. This should avoid PAOK. To remain faithful to the plan is the key not to lose the opportunity to build something big.[14]

On 27 February 2014 he was sent off in the 69th minute in a 3-0 UEFA Europa League loss against Benfica, and he received a standing ovation from the Benfica fans as he exited the field in recognition for the seasons he spent with Benfica .[15]

On 16 April 2014 in an episodic semi-final game for the Greek Cup where fans of Greek sides Olympiakos and PAOK put the mental in monumental as they greeted their heroes with a ring of fire, he had a key role in helping PAOK eventually went through on away goals after a 1-0 win following a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Athens. It was a tremendous game as the fans then use the pitch as a giant ashtray by throwing their flares onto the grass and set fire to one of the dug outs.[16] Five minutes before the end of the game for the sake of a ball he falling out with his team player in the Greek National Football Team, Giannis Maniatis leading to his drop-off from the game.[17][18]

International career[edit]

Katsouranis made his international debut for Greece on 20 August 2003 against Sweden and scored his first goal against Kazakhstan in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Katsouranis was one of the key factors in Greece's triumph at UEFA Euro 2004, beating Portugal in his own "home" (Benfica's Estádio da Luz) and, following Greece's success at the tournament. Forced his way into the starting XI after coming off the bench for the opening game of the tournament, he was an extremely important part of a three-man midfield that also included Theodoros Zagorakis and Angelos Basinas. It was in Portugal that Katsouranis really made a name for himself, delivering a string of consistent performances culminating with that famous final in Lisbon. Lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy represents the pinnacle of a national-team career that so far has never again reached the same heights.[19]

Katsouranis was a regular for Greece in their unsuccessful 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. He believes that the worst moment in the Greek national team was the elimination from the 2006 World Cup, realizing his own percentage in this unsuccessful tournament in a game against Albania national football team. [20]

Katsouranis became one of Greece's impact players in their UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers in which he helped Greece qualify for the finals and have a chance to retain their crown. Their UEFA Euro 2008 campaign resulted in poor fashion as Greece failed to pick up a point. Katsouranis has captained Greece on several occasions and was selected for his country in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification. Together with Angelos Charisteas, Giourkas Seitaridis, Georgios Karagounis, Kostas Chalkias who all participated in Greece's UEFA Euro 2004 triumph, he led Greece to a 2–1 win against Nigeria, its first win in a World Cup tournament.[21]

On 17 October 2012, Katsouranis reached a milestone on the international level as he made his 100th appearance in a Greece shirt. A 1–0 win over Slovakia in Bratislava certainly stole the headlines, but Katsouranis became just the fourth Greece player to make a century of appearances for Greece just days after team-mate Giorgos Karagounis set the all-time Greece record for appearances.[22]

Katsouranis's exceptional leader characteristics along with experience and the huge influence on the pitch saw him stand-in as captain for Greece at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with the team's regular captain, the veteran Karagounis, restricted to substitute appearances at the age of 37.[23] On 19 June 2014, Katsouranis became the first Greek player in World Cup history to be shown a red card. He was dismissed in the 38th minute of the group match against Japan for committing two bookable offences.[24]

After the draw for UEFA Euro 2016, Katsouranis stated that he was confident of reaching the finals due to a lack of "powerhouses" in their qualifying group. Katsouranis believes Greece face a tricky task to each the tournament, which will be held in France, but believes the side are well prepared for the challenge. "It's a good draw for us but we have to prove that on the pitch as well," he said. "I believe we have what it takes to be among the final 24 teams. There are no powerhouses in our group, but there are dangerous rivals." [25]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Panachaiki 1996–97 14 2 2 1 - - 3 1 19 4
1997–98 4 1 - - - - 0 0 4 1
1998–99 28 1 4 2 - - 0 0 32 3
1999-00 27 6 3 0 - - 0 0 30 6
2000–01 25 2 1 0 - - 0 0 26 2
2001–02 25 3 2 0 - - 0 0 27 3
AEK Athens 2002–03 26 6 2 1 - - 8 2 36 9
2003–04 27 7 3 1 - - 6 0 36 8
2004–05 28 10 2 1 - - 8 2 38 13
2005–06 29 6 4 2 - - 4 0 37 8
S.L. Benfica 2006–07 29 6 2 1 - - 12 1 43 8
2007–08 27 2 2 0 1 0 12 1 42 3
2008–09 24 2 1 0 5 2 4 0 34 4
Panathinaikos 2009–10 28 8 5 0 - - 13 2 46 10
2010–11 32 6 3 0 - - 5 0 40 6
2011–12 27 4 1 0 - - 4 0 32 4
2012–13 1 0 0 0 - - 5 0 6 0
PAOK 18 4 6 1 - - - - 24 5
2013–14 29 2 5 0 - - 12 1 46 3
Total (Greece) 369 68 43 9 - - 68 8 480 85
Total (Portugal) 80 10 5 1 6 2 28 2 119 15
Career Total 449 78 48 10 6 2 96 10 599 100

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 17 November 2004 Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece  Kazakhstan 3–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 7 October 2006 Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece  Norway 1–0 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier
3. 11 October 2006 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0–4 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier
4. 22 August 2007 Toumba Stadium, Thessaloniki, Greece  Spain 2–3 Loss Friendly Match
5. 6 February 2008 GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus  Finland 2–1 Win Friendly Match
6. 19 May 2008 Pampeloponisiako Stadium, Patras, Greece  Cyprus 2–0 Win Friendly Match
7. 11 October 2008 Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece  Moldova 3–0 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
8. 25 May 2010 Stadion Schnabelholz, Altach, Austria  North Korea 2–2 Draw Friendly Match
9. 11 November 2011 Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece  Russia 1–1 Draw Friendly Match
10. 7 June 2014 Red Bull Arena, Harrison, United States  Bolivia 2–1 Win Friendly Match

Personal life[edit]

He is married with Efi and has one child. His favourite place for vacation is the island Mykonos.[26] Since late 2013 he has a new distinctive tattoo on his hand, with the number 21, a number that he stated was his favorite when he was playing for AEK.[27]

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

National team
Benfica
Panathinaikos

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilson, Jonathan. "Euro 2012 Preview: Greece". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Player Profiles: Kostas Katsouranis". footballhellas.com. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Katsouranis keeps AEK faith
  4. ^ Katsouranis keeps AEK faith
  5. ^ Katsou joins Santos ans Benfica
  6. ^ Footballer of the year for Benfica
  7. ^ PAO FC sign Katsouranis
  8. ^ "Kostas Katsouranis". 20 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Κατσουράνης τέλος για τον Παναθηναϊκό" [Katsouranis finished from Panathinaikos]. Kathimerini (in Greek). 3 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Kostas Katsouranis leaves Panathinaikos". 3 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Τι σκέφτεται ο Κατσουράνης" (in Greek). sport24. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Katsouranis agrees to move to PAOK". ekathimerini.com. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "ΠΑΟΚ-Σάλκε 2-3" (in Greek). contra.gr. 27 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Δεν είμαστε ζώα, θα μιλήσουμε και θα ακουστούμε" (in Greek). contra.gr. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Benfica - PAOK, 3-0" (in Portuguese). RTP. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "PAOK vs Olympiakos". mirror.co.uk. 17 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Σύρραξη Κατσουράνη - Μανιάτη και αποβολές" (in Greek). contra.gr. 17 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "ΠΑΟΚ-Ολυμπιακός: Αρπάχτηκαν Κατσουράνης-Μανιάτης!" (in Greek). dou.gr. 17 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Player Profiles: Kostas Katsouranis". footballhellas.com. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Κατσουράνης: "Δεν έχω νιώσει ποτέ παλαίμαχος"!" (in Greek). newsbeast.gr. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  21. ^ FIFA KATSOURANIS http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/players/player=214887/profile-detail.html/title=Kostantinos KATSOURANIS |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Katsouranis joins Greece’s Century Club". footballhellas.com. 2012-10-17. 
  23. ^ "Gutierrez leads line for Colombia opener". Association of Fundraising Professionals. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Ten-man Greece hold Japan to 0-0 draw". Sydney Morning Herald. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Katsouranis pleased to avoid 'powerhouses'". beinsports.tv. 
  26. ^ "Κώστας Κατσουράνης: Ένας υπερπροστατευτικός μπαμπάς" (in Greek). 17 July 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  27. ^ "Το νέο τατουάζ του Κώστα Κατσουράνη" (in Greek). 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  28. ^ Ποδοσφαιριστής της χρονιάς ο Κατσουράνης (Footballer of the Year Katsouranis); Contra, On 2 March 2009 (Greek)

External links[edit]