Manolas playing for AEK Athens in 2011
|Full name||Konstantinos Manolas|
|Date of birth||14 June 1991|
|Place of birth||Naxos, Greece|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 March 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Konstantinos "Kostas" Manolas (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος "Κώστας" Μανωλάς, born 14 June 1991) is a Greek footballer who plays for Olympiacos and the Greek national team. He is the nephew of Greek football legend Stelios Manolas.
Kostas Manolas started his youth career at Thrasyvoulos in 2005. In 2009, Stelios Manolas, who was the AEK Technical Director was scouting his nephew at a youth match with AEK manager Dusan Bajevic and was impressed with his performance.
After signing for AEK, Manolas stated: I am very happy signing for the team I support, hopefully I can be a legend at the club like my uncle and end my career at AEK.
Manolas made his debut against AO Kavala and was rewarded the MVP award. After the match he stated, "It's a dream to play for the club I love". Manolas was also rewarded the MVP the following week playing against PAOK. On his first 7 matches, Manolas was rewarded the MVP award 5 times.
Manolas scored his first professional goal against arch rivals Olympiacos F.C. on 19 May 2010. Although he was playing with a broken jugal since the 1st minute of the match after a dangerous nudge by Kostas Mitroglou, he scored on the 6th minute, ignoring all pains. However, he left the pitch on the 15th in a bad situation. He refused to be taken to the hospital before the match was over, despite being urged by his uncle Stelios Manolas. The next day, he underwent a successful three-hour surgery and has recovered and has attended to his training sessions.
Manolas was a key figure for AEK Athens in the season 2010-11, playing very impressive performances in the Superleague Greece but also in the Europa League which drew interest to many European teams such as Genoa, Udinese, Getafe and Schalke. Manolas scored a very important goal for AEK Athens against HNK Hajduk Split securing the win for AEK Athens. The following week, Manolas found the back of the net again against Larissa in the Greek Cup(which later on AEK Athens went on to win the Greek cup). His impressive performances convinced former AEK Athens coach Manolo Jimenez and earned him a spot in the starting line-up forcing David Mateos on the bench who joined AEK Athens on loan from Real Madrid.
Manolas has developed massively while playing alongside AEK Athens icon and Euro 2004 winner Traianos Dellas and has stated to the press, "It is an honour to play alongside such a great player like Dellas, I have developed and become a better player. His experience has helped me become confident on the ball and the decisions I make in the game. I have learned a lot from him and he is basically like a teacher to me who I look up to"
On April 30, 2011, Manolas won his first trophy in his career winning the Greek Cup with AEK Athens and played a massive role on winning the trophy and played a solid game all throughout the match. Manolas also cleared a shot off the line which was a crucial chance for the opponents Atromitos who have never won a trophy in their history. Manolas was also received the MVP due to his outstanding display. After the match Manolas stated, "It is a dream for me to win a trophy with my childhood club AEK, and I hope there's many more to come in the future". Manolas finished the 2010/11 season playing 36 matches scoring 3 goals.
On July 11, 2011 Manolas signed a new 3-year deal with AEK Athens keeping him at the club until 2014. Manolas' contract is worth €900K earning €300K per-season including bonuses that can reach up to €1.4M. Manolas renewed his contract despite interested from big European outfits Werder Bremen, Sevilla, VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV. Manolas agreed with AEK Athens on €4.M buy-out clause for foreign teams and a €10.M buy-out clause for Greek teams.
Shortly after signing a new 3-year contract with AEK Athens, Manolas stated to the press, "I am extremely happy that I am going to continue playing for the team of my heart and it is an honour to wear the AEK Jersey for the next three years with my childhood club. I applaud AEK president Stavros Adamidis who believes in me and declined great offers from European teams to keep me at the club despite the huge economical problems the club is suffering. My dream now is to become the team's captain and win the league just like my uncle Stelios Manolas, who achieved this when he joined AEK."
Manolas started off the season very positively playing his first competitive match of the 2011/12 season against Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi in a Europa League qualifier where he played extremely well playing a very solid game helping AEK Athens win 1-0. Manolas was also given the most praise from AEK Athens coach Manolo Jimenez. Manolas scored his first goal of the season in an away match against Panionios, Manolas also scored the only goal of the match and finished in a 0-1 victory for AEK. Manolas also dedicated he's goal to his manager Manolo Jimenez who has been taking criticism in recent weeks. Manolas also scored the first goal for AEK Athens in a 1-3 away win against SK Sturm Graz in the Europa League. During the January transfer period, Everton showed massive interest in the young centre back and manager David Moyes stated "Manolas has huge talent and is a player for the future ". On 30/1/12, it was said that AEK Athens and Everton agreed on terms to sell Manolas to Everton. However Manolas declined the offer as he felt the club was in a bad situation as the club would have only had three centre back in the squad, 36 year old Traianos Dellas and two youth players Mavroudis Bougaidis and Elfar Freyr Helgason after the departure of former team-mate Cala. AEK Athens chairman Stavros Adamidis, stated "It was Manolas who declined the offer, not AEK".
On 1 July 2012, Manolas joined Olympiacos on a free transfer until 30 June 2016 after his contract with AEK Athens has expired. “I am very happy that I’m at Olympiacos and I can’t wait to play with the red and white shirt in front of a full Karaiskaki and our fans,” Manolas said. At a time where AEK are struggling to pay off crippling debts, the departure of one of the club’s key players comes as another major blow. As well as losing a one of the Greece’s brightest talents, the damage is also symbolic, with Manolas leaving the club where his legantary for the club uncle Stelios Manolas made almost 700 appearances and won five Greek titles. Ahead of the new season AEK will only be able to buy and sell Greek players up to the age of 22 and will be unable to purchase foreign players, as punishment for failing to meet the Greek Super League’s financial criteria. Though they will be allowed to renew the contracts of any player already at the club, whether their highest earners will be willing to remain at a club that has a history of failing to pay player wages remains to be seen. Moreover, AEK have also been banned from taking part in the Europa League this season by the Hellenic Football Federation, with their place taken by Asteras Tripoli.
Reports in Greece suggest that Tottenham, Sunderland and Fulham all keeping an eye on Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas ahead of the January transfer window. According to Gazzetta.gr Manolas has captured the attention of Premier League scouts since moving to Olympiakos on a free transfer from AEK Athens the previous summer. Manolas nearly joined Everton at the start of 2012 after AEK agreed a fee with the Toffees, only for the player to decline to opportunity to move. It is thought that Manolas could be interested in a move to the Premier League to push his case for continued inclusion in Fernando Santos's plans, with Greece currently sitting in second place in their World Cup qualifying group behind Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, Manolas is unlikely to seriously consider any move that would see his chances of first-team football jeopardised. Moreover,Manchester United head coach David Moyes targets Olympiakos defender as Nemanja Vidic replacement as it is confirmed his departure at the end of 2013/14 season to Inter Milan,while the other central defender Rio Ferdinand could follow his teammate, leaving United short of quality in central defence.
He scored his first goal for Olympiakos in UEFA Champions League in a 1-0 home win against Benfica putting the foundations for the next round. He scored his second goal in the UEFA Champions League in a 2-1 away loss against Paris Saint-Germain F.C.  Contesting the UEFA Champions League round of 16 for the first time since 2009/10 and seemingly cruising to the Greek Super League title, Olympiacos should be full of confidence going into Tuesday's first-leg visit of Manchester United FC. With the Red Devils failing to display their usual dominant domestic form this term, Olympiacos Kostas Manolas think the Greek champions have what it takes to make the quarter-finals for only the second time. "I believe we will give a good performance. I hope Manchester United will not get better than they are now, so we can defeat them," said Greece defender Manolas. However, Olympiakos missed an opportunity to pass the quarter-finals for only the second time in the club's history, as Manchester United's Robin van Persie hits hat-trick to stun Olympiakos.
Because of his very good appearances with AEK, former Greek national manager Otto Rehhagel called him up for the 30 man provisional World Cup squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but failed to make the final 23 man squad. Manolas would have about three years before eventually making his international debut against Switzerland, in an friendly match. Four years later, Manolas exceptional season year with Olympiakos was his passport not only to be called from Greek national manager Fernando Santos to the 30 man provisional World Cup squad, but also to the final 23-man squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- As of 16 April 2014
- AEK FC signs Manolas
- Manolas signs new 3-year deal
- European club interest in Manolas
- Manolas buy-out clause
- Manolas interview
- Manolas praise
- Manolas scored against Panionios
- Moyes interview on Manolas
- Everton agree on terms with AEK
- Manolas declines Everton offer
- "Olympiacos sign Kostas Manolas from debt-ridden AEK Athens". footballhellas.com. 3 July 2012.
- "Tottenham, Sunderland and Fulham targeting Greek defender Kostas Manolas". express.co.uk. 27 September 2013.
- "Manchester United Target Olympiakos Defender as Nemanja Vidic Replacement". caughtoffside.com. 1 April 2014.
- "Olympiacos - Benfica 1-0". UEFA. 5 November 2013.
- "Paris Saint Germain 2 - Olympiakos 1". 26 November 2013.
- "Manolas and Roberto ready for United test". uefa.com. 2014-02-25.
- "Man Utd 3 Olympiacos 0". theguardian.com. 2014-03-19.
- "Νέο συμβόλαιο έως το 2017 ο Μανωλάς" (in Greek). 22 March 2014.
- "Ολυμπιακός : Ανανέωσε με Μανωλά έως το 2017" (in Greek). 22 March 2014.
- "Greece World Cup 2014 squad". telegraph.co.uk. 19 May 2014.