Avraam Papadopoulos

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Avraam Papadopoulos
Papadopoulos playing for Olympiacos in 2010
Personal information
Full name Avraam Papadopoulos
Date of birth (1984-12-03) 3 December 1984 (age 31)
Place of birth Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Júbilo Iwata
Number 44
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2008 Aris 119 (13)
2008–2014 Olympiacos 124 (5)
2014–2015 Trabzonspor 5 (0)
2015–2016 Shanghai Shenhua 23 (1)
2016– Júbilo Iwata 6 (0)
National team
2008–2014 Greece 37 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 July 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 March 2014

Avraam Papadopoulos (Greek: Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος; born 3 December 1984) is an Australian-born Greek footballer who played as a central defender for Júbilo Iwata and the Greek national team.[1] He was born in Melbourne, Australia to Greek parents.

Club career[edit]

Aris Thessaloniki[edit]

Papadopoulos started his professional career with Aris in 2003 after stepping up from the Aris Youth with another promising attacking youngster, his mate Ethimios Pantelidis. Before, had been with Digenis Lakkomatos Chalkidiki youth.

At the beginning of his career, around the age of 17 (even before- including his youth days) Papadopoulos started as a striker or attacking midfielder. Especially in the period between 2003 (obviously not too much time after Papadopoulos' promotion into the first team) and the summer 2006, Aris lived some darker days of their history in Greek football also tangled with a defensive philosophy of football, financial problems in the club, Papadopoulos experienced some gradual "demotions" into the more defensive positions by his coaches. Firstly back into defensive midfielder, then also right back and finally central defender where he generally plays even nowadays (his centre back position has been granted after the summer 2006 roster rebuilding).

He is quite tall, with very tough body constitution, but not slow for his physical appearance, with pretty good awareness and tackling, sometimes reckless which leads him to getting yellow cards, but also this can be partially explained by more attacking football of the post-2006 Aris that can expose a defender like Papadopoulos to the situations of must-break the opponents' (counter) attacks. The scorer of several (significant) goals through his career generally by his strong headers and penalties. The best example is his only goal/header in the final qualifiers with Zaragoza for the UEFA Cup group stage at the Kleanthis Vikelidis stadium, which, at the end of the day, turned out to be the crucial and historic goal after Aris' loss 2–1 in Spain that ensured Aris the progression to the group stage. Yet he has been sent up in front, whenever Aris needed an extra striker in the dying minutes of (several) matches.[2]

As an "Aris kid" playing for his beloved club, but also with the fact that he experienced dark days as well as lighter, he was one of the fans' favourites logically, also one of the "last Mohicans" in the club ("Mohicans"- figuratively related to the players as Giorgios Koltsidas, Kostas Nebegleras, Papadopoulos, Georgios Gougoulias, Ronald Nacho Garcia, Efthimios Kouloucheris, Kristi Vangjeli, Petros Passalis, Spyros Gogolos, that were with this team in the second division, season 2005/06, as well as the season's after that, when the club experienced its promotion and then a total rebirth in the first division with good football and higher standing positions). Aris' number 4 was also known for his passion. For many years' transfer windows he used to be linked to Athenian giants (especially Olympiacos) by media/usually the sports news-papers, but yet had never changed his club, by then. Also as stories were circulating during the season (2006/07), he had been watched closely by some bigger clubs' scouts like Benfica or Chelsea, and Zenit of Russia as well.

Lastly, his number of caps for his ex-club Aris overflowed the margin of 100 (106 caps, scoring 6 goals). In last season (or 2) of his residence in Thessaloniki before moving into Piraeus, he was considered as one of the Aris (2007/08) top stars along with Sergio Koke, Ronald Nacho Garcia and experienced ex-super star and big Aris flop Marcio Amoroso and a couple of others.

After the end of the 2007–08 season, on triple occasion he refused to renew his contract up to 2013 (2 million euros in 5 years) although he had previously expressed affirmatively. That act which took its culmination right after he accepted to join Olympiacos F.C., caused many Aris fans to rage at him pronouncing the same as a traitor to them.[3]


Papadopoulos with Olympiacos in 2012

On 4 July 2008 the player was transferred to Olympiacos F.C. for 2,5 million euros. Olympiacos F.C. announced on Friday 4 July 2008, the signing of footballer Avraam Papadopoulos from Aris. The player has signed a four-year contract. Avraam stated this during a press conference, "I came to Olympiacos, and not Panathinaikos, because it was the best choice for me. The ideal choice. I would not like to say anything else and it does not make sense to talk about the past. I will work as hard as I can to make the team reach its goals and objectives in both Europe and Greece".

Papadopoulos made his debut against Anorthosis Famagusta FC in a 3–0 away loss. He finished 2008–09 season with 22 league matches. He started the next season by scoring against ŠK Slovan Bratislava in a 0–2 away win. This was his first goal for Olympiakos. He managed to score a crucial goal against P.A.O.K. F.C. in a 1–2 away win. He also scored against AEK Athens F.C. in a 1–2 home loss. He completed 28 league appearances and he scored 2 goals. His partnership with Olof Mellberg at the centre of defence played a vital role for Olympiacos as they won back-to-back championships in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons.

On 24 June 2011, along with Super League and Olympiakos Piraeus President Evangelos Marinakis were identified by the Athens prosecutor for their alleged involvement in match-fixing, as the list of those implicated in the scandal that has rocked Greek football grew. Marinakis, who took over the presidency of Olympiakos in July 2010 and was appointed Super League chief in August 2010, is accused of being involved in “simple collaboration with a criminal organisation whose members seek financial or other material benefit”, and “simple collaboration in corruption, altering the results (outcome) of matches.Papadopoulos, who plays for champions Olympiakos, was also included in the list along with another high profile player, Kostas Mendrinos, who is on the books of Aris F.C.[4]

Following his injury in the Euro 2012 tournament, it was revealed that Papadopoulos had torn his ACL. After an eight-month absence, Papadopoulos returned to play by entering as a substitute for Kostas Manolas on the 46th minute of a 1–0 victory over Kavala F.C. on 30 January 2013.[5] On 10 March 2013 he managed to score 2 goals against AEK Athens F.C. in a 3-0 home win.[6] With that win Olympiacos claimed the 40th champion in his history. He also scored in the final match of the season, against Panionios GSS in a 2-1 home win after an assist of Ariel Ibagaza.

From June 2012, Papadopoulos seems that his injury will follow him during the 2013/14 season. This year, the club's captain puzzled by various mishaps, but even so, he managed to show off what "metal" is made off.


Avraam Papadopoulos has taken a swipe at coach Michel after sealing a free transfer to Trabzonspor. The 29-year-old was club captain for the Greek champions and had been a pivotal figure since joining in 2008. However, last season saw Dimitris Siovas break into the first-team and Papadopoulos became a somewhat peripheral figure at the Karaiskakis Stadium.The Greece international took the time to praise Olympiacos president Evangelos Marinakis, but revealed that his relationship with Spanish coach Michel was beyond repair after completing his move to Turkey. "I want to thank wholeheartedly the president of Olympiacos, Mr Marinakis, and the management who respected my desire, despite strong disagreement, to leave the club for a new challenge," said Papadopoulos in an open letter on the club's official website.[7]

On September 1, 2014 Trabzonspor has landed the former Greek international Avraam Papadopoulos from Olympiakos.Papadopoulos, however, could be the center of fans' attention, with the veteran midfielder set to become only the second Greek player to play in Turkey’s top-flight, following Theofanis Gekas.[8]

Shanghai Shenhua[edit]

On January 23,2015 Trabzonspor transfers Avraam Papadopoulos to Shanghai Shenhua for €285,000, signing a contract until 30 December 2016.[9] He became the first ever Greek footballer to play in the Chinese Super League. On 15 August 2015, in an away 2-2 draw against the champions Guangzhou Evergrande he managed to score the second goal helping his club to avoid the defeat.[10] On 20 February 2016, due to the reorganization of the team and the acquisitions of Demba Ba and Obafemi Martins in combination with the limitation of foreign players forced the Greek international to solve his contract with the club.[11] On 23 February 2016, according to recent rumours, Atromitos are interested in signing the central defender who was recently release by Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.[12]

Júbilo Iwata[edit]

On 18 May 2016, Papadopoulos will continue his career in J1 League club Júbilo Iwata, for an undisclosed fee.[13] He became the first ever Greek footballer to play in the J1 League. On 18 June 2016, he made his debut with the club in a 1-0 away loss against Shonan Bellmare.

International career[edit]

Papadopoulos with Greece in 2010

Papadopoulos had been capped for Greece U-21 for several times. After impressing Greece coach Otto Rehhagel, He was called to the Greek national football team for the first time on 1 February 2008[14] and made his debut in the win over the Czech Republic on 5 February.

In 2010, Papadopoulos played for Greece at the 2010 World Cup. He was later a regular squad member of Greece as they went unbeaten through qualifying for Euro 2012. In the finals, however, Papadopoulos was injured in the opening game against Poland and missed the rest of the tournament.[15]

He made his come back with the national squad on March 23, 2013 during the World Cup 2014 qualification game in Bosnia/Herzegovina, (lost 3-1). Since the end of the qualifying rounds he hasn't appeared in the team managed by Fernando Santos. Avraam was called from Greek national manager Fernando Santos to the 30 man provisional World Cup squad, but he did not make it to be the final 23-man squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup.[16]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 23 July 2016
Club Season League Cup Continental[A] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Aris 2003–04 18 0 1 0 19 0
2004–05 26 3 2 1 28 4
2005–06 25 7 4 0 1 0 30 7
2006–07 23 2 1 0 24 2
2007–08 27 1 5 1 4 0 36 2
Total 119 13 13 2 5 0 137 15
Olympiakos 2008–09 22 0 1 0 8 0 31 0
2009–10 28 2 2 0 11 1 41 3
2010–11 26 0 2 0 1 0 29 0
2011–12 22 0 5 0 8 0 35 0
2012–13 5 3 2 0 0 0 7 3
2013–14 20 0 4 0 0 0 24 0
2014-15 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 124 5 16 0 28 1 170 6
Trabzonspor 2014–15 5 0 0 0 5 1 10 1
Total 5 0 0 0 5 1 10 1
Shanghai Shenhua 2015 23 1 1 0 0 0 24 1
Total 23 1 1 0 0 0 24 1
Júbilo Iwata 2016 6 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
Total 6 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
Career total 276 19 31 2 38 2 345 23


A. ^ Includes appearances in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.


Aris F.C.




External links[edit]