Sokratis Papastathopoulos

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Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Sokratis Papastatopulos.JPG
Papastathopoulos with Borussia Dortmund in 2014
Personal information
Full name Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Date of birth (1988-06-09) 9 June 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Kalamata, Greece
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Centre back / Right back
Number 25
Youth career
Apollon Petalidiou
AEK Athens
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005-2008 AEK Athens 38 (1)
2006-2007 Niki Volos (loan) 11 (0)
2008–2010 Genoa 51 (2)
2010–2012 Milan 5 (0)
2011–2012 Werder Bremen (loan) 30 (1)
2012–2013 Werder Bremen 29 (1)
2013– Borussia Dortmund 39 (2)
National team
2003–2005 Greece U17 11 (2)
2005–2007 Greece U19 13 (2)
2007–2010 Greece U21 7 (2)
2008– Greece 51 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 November 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

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

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greek: Σωκράτης Παπασταθόπουλος, pronounced [soˈkratis papastaˈθopulos]; born 9 June 1988) is a Greek footballer who plays as a centre back for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Greek national team. Since the surname Papastathopoulos cannot fit on his club shirt, his first name Sokratis is usually displayed instead; however, a common nickname for him is Papa.[1]

Club career[edit]

AEK Athens[edit]

Papastathopoulos joined AEK Athens from Apollon Petalidiou after being scouted by Toni Savevski. On 26 October 2005, he made his debut for AEK Athens in a Greek Cup match against PAS Giannina scoring in the 7th minute of the game leading AEK Athens to a 3–0 win.

Niki Volou loan[edit]

In January 2006, he was loaned to Greek Second Division club Niki Volou for six months in order to gain first team football and gather valuable experience. He made a total of 15 appearances for Niki Volou.

AEK Athens return[edit]

During the 2006-07 Superleague Greece, Papastathopoulos managed to make 14 appearances whilst competing against the likes of Bruno Cirillo, Traianos Dellas and Vangelis Moras. In AEK Athens' 2006–07 UEFA Champions League campaign, Papastathopoulos managed to play in three out of the six group games. In these three games AEK Athens managed one win (the famous 1–0 victory over Milan, where he man-marked Filippo Inzaghi), one draw (the 2–2 away draw with Anderlecht) and one loss (the 3–1 away defeat to Lille). During the 2007–08 Superleague Greece, he was a mainstay in AEK's defence, keeping out competition from Geraldo Alves. He also played through the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League campaigna and in a Super-League match becoming the side's youngest ever captain, aged 19, in a game against great local rivals Panathinaikos in 2008.

Genoa[edit]

On 1 August 2008, Papastathopoulos agreed to transfer to Genoa, a Serie A team, for undisclosed fee.[2] He also played a club friendly against Genoa on the same day.[3]

He made his debut for Genoa on 27 September 2008 against Fiorentina, followed by a start against Ravenna Calcio in the Coppa Italia a few days later. His first goal for Genoa came on 5 October 2008 at home against Napoli. Genoa won the game 3–2, but Papastathopoulos was sent off in the 89th minute[4][5] During the 2009–10 season, he managed to play in most games and became somewhat of a fan favorite.

Milan[edit]

On 20 July 2010, it was confirmed on Milan's website that Papastathopoulos had joined the team, after Genoa and Milan reached an agreement to transfer Papastathopoulos to the club for €14 million, with the following payment schedule: Gianmarco Zigoni (half of registration rights valued €3.75M), Nnamdi Oduamadi (half rights valued €3.5M) and Rodney Strasser (half rights €2.25M) in co-ownership deal, plus €4.5 million cash.[6][7][8] Papastathopoulos is the first arrival since former Cagliari Calcio boss Massimiliano Allegri's appointment as Milan coach.[9]

Genoa return[edit]

On 24 May 2011, Adriano Galliani and Enrico Preziosi formed a verbal agreement to solve the players ownerships (subject to player agreements) of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alberto Paloschi, Marco Amelia and Giacomo Beretta. The deal entailed that Milan bought back Gianmarco Zigoni, Rodney Strasser and Nnamdi Oduamadi (all under original price),[10] while Genoa bought back Papastathopoulos for €13 million, which effectively made the de facto loan cost for Milan €1 million.[10][11][12]

Werder Bremen[edit]

Sokratis at Werder Bremen

On 21 July 2011, Papastathopoulos moved to Werder Bremen on another loan deal until the end of the 2011–12 season.[13][14][15]

The Greek international leaves Genoa on a one-year loan with Bremen having the option to purchase the defender outright. An agreement was long in the making, but financial trouble at the German club stalled negotiations before a deal was finally struck. "He's a young player and has already gained some experience at Genoa and in the Greek national team," Bremen sporting director Klaus Allofs said. "When we heard that he was not being used at AC Milan, we immediately expressed interest. With his pace, his strength, and tackling, he will certainly help us." It was a complex deal that involved eight players, Genoa bought back Sokratis in May, only to pass him on to Bremen. "After initial discussions with Klaus Allofs and Thomas Schaaf, it was immediately clear to me that I would accept the offer from Werder. Now I will integrate into the team and help as soon as possible," the 23-year-old said.[16][17] Capable of playing both in the centre and on the right of the back four, Papastathopoulos will provide much-needed cover for Bremen's defence. Currently, defenders Naldo, Per Mertesacker, Sebastian Prodl, Sebastian Boenisch, and Mikael Silvestre are sidelined with injuries.

Following good performances, it was decided on 16 April 2012 that Papastathopoulos would join Werder Bremen on a permanent basis, for €5 million.[18][19][20] The 2012/13 season was not good for the club as tried to avoid relegation. Dealing with pressure is a vital part of any relegation battle and, judging by events took place on March 2013, Werder Bremen are not coping well after Sokratis had a petulant training ground brawl with his teammate ex-Inter star Marko Arnautovic. It was a sole incident in the career of Sokratis so far.[21]

Borussia Dortmund[edit]

On 24 May 2013, the eve of the Champions League final featuring Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Sokratis completed a transfer to Borussia Dortmund until 2018.[22] Borussia Dortmund signed Sokratis for a reported €9.5 million [23] on a 5-year deal worth €2 million per season.[24] Papastathopoulos spoke about his transfer saying "Money did not play a role in my decision to join Dortmund. My own future was all that mattered and I am convinced that I made the right decision."[25] With Felipe Santana leaving for Schalke, BVB were in need of a third centerback behind Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels. Strangely, BVB have decided to pay a large sum for the Greek defender. "I gained a lot from my two years with Werder, but now I feel ready to make the next step." said Papastathopoulos and everyone in the club feels certain that he is ready for the Champions League.[26] Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has revealed that the club "are delighted" to secure the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen. "We are delighted that Sokratis has decided to join Borussia Dortmund. He is a flexible player capable to play in a variety of positions in defence who we believe has tremendous potential," Zorc said in a club statement.[25]

On 10 July 2013, Sokratis made his debut for Dortmund in a pre-season friendly away to FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park, along with his new teammates Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. On 27 July 2013, he won his first title with the club by entering as a substitute in a 4-2 win over Bayern Munich for the DFL-Supercup.[25] On 1 November 2013, Papastathopoulos scored his first goal for Dortmund in a 6-1 win against Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.[27]

The very good year he had Sokratis Pastathopoulos with Borussia Dortmund, was rewarded with his selection in the top XI of 2013/14 Bundesliga. The choice of course was not random, but in a vote organized by the governing body of the league through the official website. Fans from various countries of the world have chosen therefore the ideal team for this year's German league and amongst them is the 25-year old Greek defender. "The definition of defense falls on him. The Greek stopper took advantage of the opportunities given to him by the absence of Neven Subotić and Mats Hummels. Stable, with leadership characteristics and tendency to win the ball without making easily a mistake" was the description for the Greek defender.[28][29]

International career[edit]

Sokratis playing for Greece

Papastathopoulos was called up for the Greek senior team on 1 February 2008[30] and made his debut on 5 February 2008 in the 1–0 friendly victory against the Czech Republic. The Greece squad for UEFA Euro 2008 was announced by Otto Rehhagel on 27 May 2008, and Papastathopoulos was the unfortunate player to be cut from the provisional squad of 24 to the final 23-man selection.[31]

Papastathopoulos became the first player to be sent off at UEFA Euro 2012 during the opening game of the tournament against co-hosts Poland, after receiving two yellow cards, following what pundits decried as two poor decisions by the referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.[32]

In June 2014, Papastathopoulos was named in Greece's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[33] He started in each of the team's group matches, helping them to a clean sheet against Japan.[34] In the round of 16, Papastathopoulos scored his first international goal, equalising in second half stoppage time against Costa Rica. However, the Greeks were eventually defeated 5–3 in a penalty shootout by the Central American champions.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Francesco Somma (3 August 2010). "Sokratis o Papastathopoulos? Questo è il dilemma". milannews.it (in Italian). Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Ανακοίνωση [Communication]. AEK FC (in Greek). ca. 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 August 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "IL GENOA DA' LEZIONE DI GRECO". Genoa CFC (in Italian). 1 August 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Papastathopoulos opens Genoa account
  5. ^ "Genoa 3–2 Napoli". soccernet.espn.go.com. 5 October 5, 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Welcome Sokratis!". acmilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 20 July 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Milan pick up Genoa starlet Papastathopoulos". UEFA.com. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "AC Milan Group 2010 Annual Report". AC Milan (in Italian). ca. April 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Milan pick up Genoa starlet Papastathopoulos". 2010-07-20. 
  10. ^ a b Genoa CFC SpA Report and Accounts on 31 December 2011 (in Italian). CCIAA Archive. ca April 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Relazione e Bilancio al 31 Dicembre 2011" (in Italian). Ac milan. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Boateng e del Milan Riscatto da 7 milioni". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 25 May 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Sokratis introduced". Werder Bremen Official Website. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Official: Sokratis Papastathopoulos joins Werder Bremen on loan from Genoa". Goal.com. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Bremen swoop for Papastathopoulos". ESPN. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Sokratis Papastathopoulos joins Werder Bremen on loan from Genoa". goal.com. 21 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Sokratis Papastathopoulos to Werder". werder.de. 21 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Papastathopoulos makes Bremen move permanent". FIFA.com. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "Papastathopoulos completes Bremen switch". Fox News. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Genoa CFC SpA Report and Accounts on 31 December 2012 (in Italian). CCIAA Archive. 
  21. ^ "Werder Bremen stars show strain of relegation battle with petulant training ground brawl". metro.co.uk. 29 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "BVB sign "Sokratis"". Borussia Dortmund. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Υπέγραψε στην Ντόρτμουντ ο Σωκράτης!". sport-fm.gr. 23 May 2013. 
  24. ^ http://www.footballvs.org/sokratis-papastathopoulos-vs-msakni/
  25. ^ a b c Coerts, Stefan (5 June 2013). "Sokratis: I did not join Dortmund for the money". Goal.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Borussia Dortmund sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen". sbnation.com. 28 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Lewandowski shines as Stuttgart hit for six". 
  28. ^ "Στην καλύτερη 11άδα του Γερμανικού Πρωταθλήματος ο Σωκράτης Παπασταθόπουλος". protothema.gr. 28 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "Team of the season". bundesliga.com. 23 April 2014. 
  30. ^ "Greece Squad call up". UEFA.com. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Greece's Papastathopoulos drops out". UEFA.com. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  32. ^ Glendenning, Barry (8 June 2012). "Euro 2012: Poland 1–1 Greece – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  33. ^ "Greece World Cup 2014 squad". The Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  34. ^ "Japan 0-0 Greece". BBC. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Costa Rica 1-1 Greece". BBC. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 

External links[edit]