Apostolos Giannou

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Apostolos Giannou
Personal information
Full name Apostolos Giannou
Date of birth (1990-01-25) 25 January 1990 (age 27)
Place of birth Naousa, Greece
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Guangzhou R&F
Number 9
Youth career
2003–2004 Oakleigh Cannons
2004–2005 South Melbourne
2005–2006 VIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007 Oakleigh Cannons 7 (1)
2007–2009 Apollon Kalamarias 29 (6)
2009–2011 Kavala 14 (2)
2011–2013 PAOK 26 (3)
2013 Platanias (loan) 9 (1)
2013–2015 Panionios 60 (13)
2015–2016 Asteras Tripoli 21 (13)
2016– Guangzhou R&F 22 (5)
National team
2006 Australia U17 8 (2)
2008–2009 Greece U19 7 (0)
2010–2012 Greece U21 13 (2)
2015 Greece 1 (0)
2016– Australia 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 October 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2016

Apostolos Giannou (Greek: Απόστολος Γιάννου; born 25 January 1990) is a Greek Australian footballer who currently plays for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F. He represented various Greek and Australian youth national teams, including one friendly with the Greece national football team, before appearing competitively for the Australia national football team.

Career[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Giannou was born in Naousa, Greece, but moved to Australia at a young age and grew up in Melbourne, Victoria. In Australia he was known as Paul.

Giannou played junior football for Oakleigh Cannons and South Melbourne. Following state representative honours at under-14 and under-15 level, Giannou was selected for the VIS by Ernie Merrick. He took part in Melbourne Victory's pre-season friendlies prior to the 2006–07 A-League season with an intention of being signed in an apprenticeship capacity. However, Giannou secured a two-week trial with PSV Eindhoven's Reserve and Academy teams.[2] Giannou was assured that if he did not sign with the Dutch club, he could return to Melbourne Victory.[3] Despite the unsuccessful trial, Giannou came back to Melbourne and signed a six-month contract with Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons.

Apollon Kalamarias[edit]

On 2007, Giannou was transferred to Greek first division side Apollon Kalamarias. Giannou netted his first goal for Apollon Kalamarias in late 2008, an 81st minute consolation goal in a 3–1 defeat at home to Kerkyra.[4] Giannou would go on to score 5 more times in the 2008–2009 Beta Ethniki season before being transferred to Kavala, who had gained promotion to Superleague Greece for the 2009–10 season, on a five-year contract.

Kavala[edit]

On 21 November 2009 Giannou debuted for Kavala where he was substituted on after 79 minutes, after being played through on goal Giannou neatly passed the ball into the back of the net on the 88th minute mark to seal a 2–1 victory against AEK Athens.[5][6] Down the track, Giannou was one of five Australians in the Greek side as the club welcomed the arrivals of Robert Stambolziev, Zeljko Kalac, Andreas Govas and Craig Moore.

P.A.O.K.[edit]

After the relegation of Kavala, Zisis Vryzas had brought him to PAOK and Giannou was set free and on 30 September 2011 signed a three-year-contract with P.A.O.K.[7] He made his first appearance for the club during the 2011–12 season in a 0–0 draw against OFI Crete on 16 October, where he was substituted onto the field for Vladimir Ivic in the 78th minute.[8] Giannou scored his first goals for the club, a brace, in a 2–0 away victory against OFI on 11 February.[9]

Panionios[edit]

On 2 September 2013 Panionios proceeded to a significant addition to its roster, by announcing the acquisition of Giannou. The 23-year-old striker was released by PAOK, as it was not in the plans of Huub Stevens, but did not stay for long time as unemployed and immediately signing a two-years' contract with the club.[10]

Asteras Tripoli[edit]

On 9 June 2015, Giannou signed a three years' contract with Asteras Tripoli for an undisclosed fee.[11] He scored on his debut against Panthrakikos F.C. he also scored 2 matchdays later a penalty against Kaloni F.C. On 27 September 2015, on the 5th day of the 2015–16 season he scored in a 2–1 away loss against Levadiakos.[12] On 5 October 2015, he scored the only goal of his club in a 1–1 home draw against Platanias F.C. On 25 October 2015, after three consecutive unsuccessful results, he scored twice, one with a penalty-kick in the 2–1 away win against PAS Giannina. He was named man of the match.[13] On 5 November 2015, Asteras Tripoli ended a run of seven European games without a win to breathe life into their flagging group campaign, by winning APOEL FC. Giannou scored the second goal in a 2–0 home win in the extra time of first half after Pablo Mazza's assist.[14][15] It was his first goal in UEFA campaigns. On 29 November 2015, was anointed scorer with a second attempt after the successful repulse of the penalty from Roberto in overtime in a 3–1 away loss against Greek champions Olympiakos.[16] On 5 December 2015, he scored the only goal in the 2–1 home loss against Iraklis,[17] that keeping the unbeaten tradition against Asteras Tripoli. On 2 January 2016, he scored twice to a comfortable 4–0 home win against Panthrakikos.[18] With these goals, he scored his eleventh goal in this year's season setting a new personal season's scoring record after last year's 10 goals with Panionios.[19]

On 20 February 2016, the Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C. offer more than €2 million to buy 26-year-old striker of Asteras Tripolis. The Greek club ask for at least €3 million to sell its first scorer, who can not be replaced with a transfer until summer, while Giannou seems to have already agreed terms with the team of his compatriot, Avraam Papadopoulos, which offers him more than €1 million for every year of contract.[20]

Guangzhou R&F[edit]

On 24 February 2016, Giannou has agreed to continue his career at the Chinese club Guangzhou R&F F.C. instead of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C. Asteras Tripolis have accepted a bid of €2,5 million for the Greek striker who is heading to China to undergo medical and complete his move. Giannou has agreed terms with Guangzhou with a lucrative three years' contract of €1,6 million yearly.[21][22]

International career[edit]

In 2006 Giannou represented the Australia under-17 team at the AFC U-17 Championship 2006 Qualification. Giannou scored in Australia's 3–1 win against Indonesia.[23] Giannou was the only Victorian player selected for Australia's under-17 side that took part in the International Youth Football tournament in Niigata, Japan. The team finished top of their respective group as Giannou scored a goal in a 5–1 win against Albirex Niigata.[24]

In 2008 Giannou represented the Greece under-19 team at the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship elite qualification where Greece qualified for the Championship finals, he played alongside Australian Dean Bouzanis. Under coach Alexis Alexiou, Giannou appeared twice at the European Under-19 Championships when he was substituted on in a 1–1 draw against Italy and started in a 3–0 loss against England as Greece finished at the bottom of their group.[25][26][27][28]

On 5 September 2010 Giannou returned to the international stage after two years' absence, he was selected for the Greece under-21 team for a 2011 European Under-21 Championship qualifier against the Macedonia which Greece won 2–1.[29][30][31]

On 24 March 2015, Apostolos Giannou was selected for the Greek National Team for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Hungary.[32]

On 18 October 2015, a race between Australia and Greece to nail down the international allegiance of on-fire striker Giannou is looming, as the dual nationality hitman hovers between both nations. The 25 year old marksman was born in Greece but spent his formative years in Melbourne, and has represented both countries at youth level. Despite being on the bench for Greece in its Euro 2016 qualifier against Hungary earlier this year, Giannou could still be available for Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos. And the prospect of a reunion with Postecoglou, who coached him at Under-17 level with the Joeys before Giannou returned to the land of his birth nearly eight years ago, is something he says he would savour as Football Federation Australia officials assess whether he meets the eligibility criteria enshrined within FIFA regulations. Giannou has been on and off the Socceroos radar since 2009 when he and Craig Moore, his then teammate at Greek side Kavala, were part of a train-on squad made up of European-based Australians ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Nearly two years later, while at PAOK, Socceroos scouts went to watch Giannou twice, only for then coach Pim Verbeek to leave him out, a move which Giannou said was “devastating”.[33]

On 5 November 2015, Apostolos Giannou was selected for the Greek National Team for the upcoming friendly matches against Luxembourg and Turkey.[34] On 17 November he made his debut with the Greek national team as a late substitute for Kostas Mitroglou in a 0–0 away draw against Turkey.[35]

Despite being capped by Greece, on 25 February 2016, Giannou declared that he was switching allegiances to Australia.[36] As his lone appearance for Greece was in a friendly, Giannou remains eligible to represent Australia, should he be called up and could possibly play for Socceroos against Greece in two internationals in Australia in June 2016.[37]

Giannou was called up for Australia for their 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan on 9 March 2016.[38] Giannou made his debut for Australia in a 7–0 win against Tajikistan on 24 March 2016. Giannou assisted Massimo Luongo for Australia's first goal of the match, and won two penalties for Australia, which were converted by Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan for Australia's second and third goals.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A. GIANNOU". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  2. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,20554383-23215,00.html
  3. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,20560214-23215,00.html
  4. ^ http://au.soccerway.com/matches/2008/12/21/greece/b-ethniki/apollon-kalamaria-fc/pae-ao-kerkyra/723976/
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndotgPk9uho&feature=player_embedded
  6. ^ http://www.soccerway.com/matches/2009/11/21/greece/super-league/ao-kavala/aek-athens-fc/796959/
  7. ^ "Giannou in PAOK (in Greek)". paokfc.gr. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  8. ^ http://au.soccerway.com/matches/2011/10/16/greece/super-league/paok-fc/ofi-heraklion-fc/1214460/
  9. ^ http://www.soccerway.com/matches/2012/02/11/greece/super-league/ofi-heraklion-fc/paok-fc/1234975/
  10. ^ Πανιώνιος: «Κυανέρυρθος» ο Απόστολος Γιάννου
  11. ^ Στους Αρκάδες ο Γιάννου! Retrieved 9 June 2015
  12. ^ Με σούπερ Μάντζιο, 2–1 ο Λεβαδειακός τον Αστέρα Τρίπολης Retrieved 27 September 2015
  13. ^ ΠΑΣ Γιάννινα – Αστέρας Τρίπολης 1–2: Αστέρι ήταν ο Γιάννου! Retrieved 25 October 2015
  14. ^ Europa League: Αστέρας Τρίπολης – ΑΠΟΕΛ ( 2–0) Retrieved 5 November 2015
  15. ^ Αστέρας Τρίπολης – ΑΠΟΕΛ 2–0 Retrieved 5 November 2015
  16. ^ Ολυμπιακός – Αστέρας LIVE Retrieved 29 November 2015
  17. ^ Διατήρησε την παράδοση ο Ηρακλής, 2–1 τον Αστέρα Retrieved 5 December 2015
  18. ^ Comfortable win for Asteras Tripolis Retrieved 2 January 2016
  19. ^ Το ρεκόρ του Γιάννου και το μηδέν στην άμυνα! Retrieved 3 January 2016
  20. ^ Amazing transfer offer from China for Giannou Retrieved 20 February 2016
  21. ^ Giannou seals move to Guangzhou Retrieved 24 February 2016
  22. ^ Έκλεισε στην Guangzhou R&F ο Γιάννου! Retrieved 24 February 2016
  23. ^ Qantas Joeys V Indonesia – Full Report Archived 11 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  25. ^ http://www.uefa.com/competitions/under19/fixturesresults/round=15036/match=303456/report=lu.html
  26. ^ http://www.uefa.com/competitions/under19/fixturesresults/round=15036/match=303459/report=lu.html
  27. ^ http://www.uefa.com/competitions/under19/fixturesresults/round=15036/match=303456/report=ev.html
  28. ^ http://www.uefa.com/competitions/under19/fixturesresults/round=15036/match=303464/report=lu.html
  29. ^ http://www.uefa.com/under21/matches/season=2011/round=2000006/match=2000228/index.html
  30. ^ http://www.uefa.com/under21/teams/player=250000091/index.html
  31. ^ FYR Macedonia U21 vs. Greece U21 1 – 2
  32. ^ South Junior selected for Greek National Team
  33. ^ Giannou torn between Australia and Greece Retrieved 18 October 2015
  34. ^ Οι πρώτοι 25 του Σκίμπε
  35. ^ Πίσω στιβαρή, μπροστά ακίνδυνη η Εθνική στο 0–0 με την Τουρκία
  36. ^ Garb, Daniel. "Apostolos Giannou signs for Guangzhou RF, declares intention to play for Socceroos". Fox Sports. News Corporation. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  37. ^ "Greek footballer Giannou set to switch allegiance to Australia". www.france24.com. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  38. ^ "Caltex Socceroos squad for March WC qualifiers". Football Federation Australia. 9 March 2016. 
  39. ^ Stoll, Nick (24 March 2016). "Socceroos score seven in scintillating win over Tajikistan". SBS. 

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