Nikos Dabizas

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Nikos Dabizas
Personal information
Full name Nikolaos Dabizas
Date of birth (1973-08-03) 3 August 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth Amyntaio, Greece
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Panathinaikos (Technical Director)
Youth career
Pontioi Verias
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1994 Pontioi Verias 85 (7)
1994–1998 Olympiacos 104 (8)
1998–2004 Newcastle United 130 (11)
2004–2005 Leicester City 51 (1)
2005–2011 Larissa 178 (5)
Total 548 (32)
National team
1994–2004 Greece 70 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Nikolaos "Nikos" Dabizas (born 3 August 1973 in Amyntaio) is a retired Greek professional footballer and former Newcastle United, Leicester City, Olympiacos and Larissa defender. He was also in Greece's 2004 European Football Championship winning squad.

Club Career[edit]

Pontioi Verias[edit]

Dabizas spent his days playing football and helping in his father's company. His first contact with football came when he was sixteen, although he never dreamt of becoming a professional footballer. However, fate had other plans for him. He played for a year as an amateur at the local team of Amydeo called Hermes, which was enough to give him the ticket to a team in the third division and a professional contract, as he joined Pontioi Verias, as an 18-year-old, where he remained for three consecutive seasons, playing one year on the third division and two in the second. His big career break came when he was 21. He got an offer from Olympiacos, one of the biggest teams in Greece.

Olympiakos[edit]

He moved to Piraeus and helped his new team win the Greek championship twice, something they hadn't done in ten years. He also took part in his first UEFA Champions League games. After three-and-a-half seasons with Olympiacos he received an offer from Newcastle United, which opened him the doors to the English football fields, in the Premier League.

Newcastle United[edit]

In March 1998, Dabizas signed with Newcastle United for a fee of £2 million.[1] His initial four-year contract,[1] which was to expire in 2002, was renewed well ahead of time, and was to see Dabizas in the team, until June 2004. He famously scored Newcastle's winning goal in the 1–0 away victory in the Tyne–Wear derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on 24 February 2002.[2] Whilst at Newcastle United, he played in both the 1998 and 1999 FA Cup Finals.[3][4]

Being left out of the first squad since the spring of 2003, Dabizas had no option, but to seek a transfer. A car accident prevented him from moving during the summer transfer window.[5] Still, the decision to move was enforced, as he did not see any action when the new season started.[6] He accepted an offer from Leicester City in January 2004.[7]

Leicester City and Euro 2004[edit]

Dabizas played regularly for Leicester as they battled to stay in the Premier League, their efforts were inadequate and the team was relegated to the Championship. It seemed like it was going to turn out to be a very disappointing season, but it was far from over. Dabizas was selected for the 2004 European Football Championship Greek squad but never saw any action as an injury kept him on the sidelines. To everyone's surprise, Greece went on to win the tournament, ending a season that had many turning points.[8] After Euro 2004, Dabizas chose to stay at Leicester despite being entitled to a relegation release clause in his contract.[9] Dabizas scored twice during his spell at Leicester, one in the league against Sheffield United,[10] and another in the FA Cup against Charlton Athletic.[11]

Larissa[edit]

Dabizas was released by Leicester at the end of his contract in May 2005.[12] In August 2005, he signed a three-year deal with Larissa. In 2007, he won Larissa's second Greek cup, after a great personal performance in the final, being the captain. Dabizas, playing in UEFA Cup, reaching the group stage by eliminating Blackburn Rovers. In 2008–09 season, the team finished 5th in SuperLeague and won an UEFA Europa League place, but were eliminated in the second qualifying round by KR Reykjavík (1–1,0–2). Here, Dabizas found Stelios Venetidis and Stelios Giannakopoulos two teammates in the Greek national team in Euro 2004, as well as former Newcastle United team mate Laurent Robert. After a poor start to the 2009–10 season, Larissa finally finished in mid-table, and Dabizas signed a one-year contract extension, meaning that his spell with Larissa would be the longest with any club in his career and also where he played most. He announced his retirement in 2011.

Honours[edit]

Olympiacos
Larissa
Greece

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Football: Newcastle complete pounds 2m signing of Greek defender". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). 11 March 1998. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Newcastle edge out Sunderland". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 24 February 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Sport: Football – Arsenal at the double". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 May 1998. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Double joy for Man United". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 22 May 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "United star escapes car crash". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 June 2003. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Newcastle quintet snubbed". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 15 July 2003. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Dabizas to join Leicester". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 1 January 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Greatest Euro shock ever?". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 5 July 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Foxes admit Dabizas doubts". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 6 July 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Leicester 3–2 Sheff Utd". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 14 September 2004. Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Charlton 1–2 Leicester". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 February 2005. Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Six stars released by Foxes boss". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 6 May 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 

External links[edit]