Kone with Greece in 2013
|Full name||Panagiotis Giorgios Kone|
|Date of birth||26 July 1987|
|Place of birth||Tirana, Albania|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder / Winger|
|2011–2012||→ Bologna (loan)||31||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 January 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
Early and personal life
Kone was born in Tirana, Albania to an ethnic Greek family (see Greeks in Albania). His parents are Isac and Leontina. He has said, regarding his identity, that he solely feels Greek. His family moved to Athens, Greece, and he has said that he has never faced discrimination because of his Greek (Northern Epirote) origin in Albania. Some of his relatives still live in Albania.
Kone began his youth career at the Olympiacos youth academy as a young teenager but moved to France just before his 17th birthday when Lens showed interest in him. He was sold to Lens for €400,000.
After one year with Lens he came back to Greece, this time with AEK Athens signing his first professional contract. Kone was a hot prospect as a youngster and was tipped to have a big career but never fully blossomed. He wore the number 10 shirt for the 2005/06 season as an 18 year old but with the arrival of Rivaldo he changed it to 22.
Kone moved to Iraklis in 2008 after he was surplus to requirements in AEK Athens. In the two seasons he has played since with the club from Thessaloniki he made 49 league appearances and scored 8 goals. In 37 of these matches he either played as a substitute or he was substituted. Although in times he showed football brilliance, the facts that he was rather unstable and the lack of teamwork couldn't secure him a firm place in Iraklis' starting eleven.
Contract dispute with Iraklis
In July 2010 he trained with Brescia although he was still under contract with Iraklis. He stopped training with Brescia after the Italian club was informed that the player was still under contract with Iraklis. Kone expected to have his contract with Iraklis terminated due to supposed debt by the club to him. On 22 July 2010, the Hellenic Football Federation decided against the request of Kone to terminate his contract with the club. Nevertheless Iraklis sold him to Brescia for a considerable amount of €800.000.
Brescia and Bologna
In July 2010 made an attempt to play for a club outside the Greek borders, by signing with Brescia. Kone had some amazing performance and the management of the club talking about a player with very good technical training, fast and sense of goal. He made some excellent performances so he signed to Bologna on a loan, playing at the same high level, till the summer of 2012 when he signed a contract with Italian club.
Kone arrives initially on a temporary basis, but Pierpaolo Bisoli's men will have the option to buy him permanently next summer, although financial details of the deal remain undisclosed. The Serie A outfit were desperately seeking a replacement for the recently departed Francesco Della Rocca, after he completed his move to Palermo, but they have acted quickly to snap up the 24-year-old. Kone, who can also play on the right wing, is a full Greece international, with four caps to his name and was a regular starter for Brescia, who were relegated to Serie B last season.
In June 2013, Bologna have officially reached a deal to buy out Panagiotis Kone from Brescia for €1.6m. The Greek midfielder is currently co-owned by the two clubs and spent this season at the Stadio Dall’Ara in Serie A. Negotiations had been troubled and there were fears the matter would go to a blind auction over the summer. However, Bologna have been able to agree terms with Brescia, handing over €1.6m for the remaining 50 per cent of his contract.
Kone has officially extended his contract with Serie A side Bologna until June 2017. Bologna released a statement confirming the player had put pen to paper on a new contract keeping him at the club for another fours years. The Greek attacking midfielder has made his name in Italy with some truly spectacular goals, notably a scissor-kick volley against Napoli last season at the San Paolo which gave his side all three points.
On 24 November 2013, he scored his first goal for the season 2013/14 in a home 1-1 against Inter Milan. Inter went behind to a Panagiotis Kone strike after 12 minutes and, although they levelled through Jonathan's deflected effort in the 51st minute, the Nerazzuri could not force a winner.
On Sunday 11 May 2014, no one could possibly been able to discern that Bologna one of Serie A's historic giants, after a dreary 2-1 home loss to Catania plunged them into the second tier, but the Emilian club's seven scudetti would suggest otherwise. After the first round of the season, gradually slumped further into the relegation mess until results on the season's penultimate matchday condemned them to Serie B. At the end of their defeat 300 Bologna fans surrounded the team and prevented it from reaching the coach, instead screaming for contracts to be torn up over a cordon of riot police. Captain Kone—as one of a few players to emerge from the season with any value at all—was consoled by a supporter after breaking down in tears in the melee. "The dressing room is destroyed, we are mortified. Kone has been crying alone on the pitch," coach Davide Ballardini is quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Reports in Italy suggests that Palermo keeping an eye to Greek midfielder. Maurizio Zamparini wants to place the first shot ahead of the Serie A. The objective is to define the deal before the 2014 World Cup. The Bolognese asking €5.6 million for Kone. Zamparini is in a hurry because the World Cup could make up the price of the player. The offer of Palermo is about €3 million but are also fascinated by the hypothesis of the loan with the right of buying out next year. There is the possibility of including players as a compensation technique for example some players from Primavera who are put on display this year. Furthermore, according to Tuttosport, Torino management are ready to make their decisive move for signing the Greek international offensive midfielder due to Giampiero Ventura's will.
Kone has represented Greece at youth level. Shortly after signing for Brescia the new Greece coach Fernando Santos called him up for Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Georgia and Croatia. On 17 November 2010, Kone debuted for the Greece National team in 1–2 friendly international away win against Austria. He played the entire first half before being replaced.
He was named in the provisional squad for Euro 2012. On 26 May 2012, he want sent-off during Greece’s 1-1 draw with Slovenia in a pre-EURO 2012 friendly. "What happened with Kone is a shame. Sometimes in the heat of the match we lose our minds." Santos explained after their draw with Slovenia, after which Kone was dropped from the final 23-man squad.
Two years later, Kone's exceptional season year with Bologna 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. On 7 June 2014 he scored his first goal with the Greece in a 2-1 friendly victory against Bolivia.
|1.||7 June 2014||Red Bull Arena, Harrison, United States||Bolivia||2–1||Win||Friendly Match|
- Sport-fm (4 September 2011). Κονέ: "Ήρθα σε έναν σύλλογο με φήμη και ιστορία" (in Greek). www.sport-fm.gr. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Kone: S’jam shqiptar, jam grek! (Kone: I'm not Albanian, I'm Greek!)". http://www.lajmeonline.eu. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
Kone ndihet grek…Pra, unë s’jam shqiptar”, tha Kone, i cili e ka refuzuar Kombëtaren shqiptare dhe e përfaqëson atë greke. (translated: Kone feels Greek …I’m not Albanian, "said Kone, who has rejected the Albanian national team and represents the Greek.)
- "Αφιέρωμα της FIFA στον Έλληνα της Μπολόνια". sentragoal.gr. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- "Panajotis Kone:Nuk e kam mohuar kurrë origjinën time".
"Origjinën time nuk e kam mohuar kurrë, por edhe në Greqi kurrsesi nuk më kanë diskriminuar" (translation: I have never denied my origin, but in Greece I haven't been discriminated))
- "Κονέ: «Ήρθα σε έναν σύλλογο με φήμη και ιστορία»". sport-fm.gr. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
"Έχω ακόμα κάποια μέλη της οικογένειάς μου στην Αλβανία, αλλά είναι όλοι τους Έλληνες" (translation: Some members of my family still live Albania, but they are all Greeks))
- SportEkspres (26 August 2010). "Futboll: Shqiptar apo grek? Gjergji Kone duhet të vendosë". kombetarja.com. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Biabiany, Obinna, Suazo: aperto un canale con l'Inter". Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- "Μεγάλη δικαίωση του Ηρακλή στο θέμα Κονέ". Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "Εντυπωσιάζει με την Μπρέσια ο Κονέ". sport24.gr. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
- "Bologna sign Brescia's Panagiotis Kone on loan". goal.com. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- "Bologna secure Kone". football-italia.net. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "Kone signs new contract with Bologna". forzaitalianfootball.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- "FIFA Puskás Award: Ten best goals of the year announced". fifa.com. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "Bologna 1 - Internazionale 1". espnfc.com. 2013-11-24.
- "Bologna's sad demise". sbnation.com. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Disgruntled supporters reduce Bologna forward Kone to tears". forzaitalianfootball.com. 12 May 2014.
- "Calciomercato, Palermo guarda Bologna: interessa il greco Kone". corrieredellosport.it. 24 May 2014.
- "Κονέ, ο πρώτος στόχος της Παλέρμο". sport24.gr. 24 May 2014.
- "Decisive move for Kone ready". transfermarketweb.com. 19 May 2014.
- "Αυστρία-Ελλάδα 1–2 (τελικό)". Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- "Euro 2012: Panagiotis Kone dropped from Greece squad". bbc.com. 2012-05-29.
- "Greece World Cup 2014 squad". telegraph.co.uk. 19 May 2014.
- "Ελλάδα - Βολιβία 2-1". www.sport24.gr. 7 June 2014.