Papadopoulos playing for Olympiacos in 2010
|Full name||Avraam Papadopoulos|
|Date of birth||3 December 1984|
|Place of birth||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 December 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 March 2014
Avraam Papadopoulos (Greek: Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος; born 3 December 1984) is a Greek footballer who plays as a central defender for Olympiacos and the Greek national team. He was born in Melbourne, Australia to Greek parents.
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, he started as a striker or attacking midfielder. In the period between 2003 and 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 into defensive midfielder, then also right back and finally central defender where he generally plays even nowadays.
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' attacks. The scorer of several 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 matches.
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. In last season of his residence in Thessaloniki before moving into Piraeus, he was considered as one of the Aris top stars along with Sergio Koke, Ronald Nacho Garcia and experienced ex-super star and big Marcio Amoroso.
At the end of the 2007–08 season, after three offers, he refused to renew his contract up to 2013, although he had previously expressed a likelihood to renew. That act, which took its culmination right after he accepted to join Olympiacos, caused many Aris fans to rage at him pronouncing the same as a traitor to them.
On 4 July 2008 the player was transferred to Olympiacos for 2.5 million euros. Olympiacos 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 Olympiacos. 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 Olympiacos 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 Olympiacos 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 Olympiacos, was also included in the list along with another high profile player, Kostas Mendrinos, who is on the books of Aris F.C.
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. On 10 March 2013 he managed to score 2 goals against AEK Athens F.C. in a 3–0 home win. 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.
Papadopoulos’ injury issues were a constant companion during the 2013/14 season. That year, the club's captain was mired by various mishaps, but even so, he managed to show off what "metal" is made of.
Avraam Papadopoulos took 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, his 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.
On September 1, 2014, Trabzonspor landed the former Greek international from Olympiacos. Papadopoulos was set to be the center of fans attention, with the veteran midfielder becoming only the second Greek player to play in Turkey’s top-flight, following Theofanis Gekas.
On January 23, 2015, Trabzonspor transferred Papadopoulos to Shanghai Shenhua for €285,000, he signed a contract until 30 December 2016. 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 defeat. On February 20, 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 dissolve his contract with the club. On February 23, 2016, it was rumoured that Atromitos were interested in signing the central defender who was recently released by Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
On May 18, 2016, Papadopoulos continued his career at J1 League club Júbilo Iwata, for an undisclosed fee. He became the first ever Greek footballer to play in the J1 League. On June 18, 2016, he made his debut with the club in a 1–0 away loss against Shonan Bellmare. On the 24th of August 2016, he scored his first goal with the club, sealing a 3–2 away win against rivals Avispa Fukuoka. On 5 November 2016, after six months, they mutually terminated their contract.
On February 14, 2017, Papadopoulos joined Australian A-League club Brisbane Roar until the end of the season, as an injury replacement for Daniel Bowles, who was sidelined for at least 10 months with a serious knee injury. Despite representing Greece, the central defender has an Australian passport and is therefore not counted as a visa player. On the 5th of March 2017, he made his debut with the club in a 3–1 away win against Newcastle Jets. On 22 June 2017, the club has retained the ex-international defender’s services for another 12 months after his midseason arrival early this year. Melbourne-born Papadopoulos played seven games at centre-back during the semi-finalists' 2016–17 season, providing cover for Luke De Vere and Jade North.
On 28 October 2017, Wellingthon's Keeper Smith failed to properly deal with a Fahid Ben Khalfallah free-kick, with defender Papadopoulos taking the rebound on the spot to score his first A-League goal, in a 3–3 away draw. On 17 November 2017, Papadopoulos scored the opener and the clincher for the Brisbane Roar as they climbed off the bottom of the ladder in a 3–1 home win game against Melbourne City FC. He could have had a hat-trick from another goal-bound header before half-time but Stefan Mauk managed to clear it off the line. On 25 November 2017, in the last quarter of the game, Papadopoulos spat at Sydney FC striker Matt Simon, who retaliated, Avraam went to ground covering his face, resulting in Matt Simon's dismissal. The incident saw the Roar make a statement shortly after the game panning the actions of Avraam that marred the club's 3–1 A-League loss, against Sydney FC. On 8 December 2017, Papadopoulos was given a seven-match ban by the A-League judiciary for spitting on Sydney FC's Matt Simon. The defender's ban included the one match he had already served, when he sat out the Roar's 2–0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers FC.
On 12 January 2018, he returned to the squad in a 1-0 away loss against Newcastle Jets FC. A week later, Papadopoulos scored, he put the hosts ahead and kept their slim A-League finals hopes alive with a 3-2 win over fellow battlers Perth Glory.
On 6 March 2018, he suffered a very serious left ankle injury during team training. He underwent surgery in Brisbane and was out of action for four months. On 27 January 2019, Papadopoulos is reportedly close to sealing a fairytale return to Greek giants Olympiacos. The 34 year old hasn't played in the A-League since matchday 9, through an ankle injury and may not play for Brisbane again if reports are to be believed.
Second spell to Olympiakos
On 28 January 2019, Olympiacos revealed that veteran defender Avraam Papadopoulos has returned to the club for a six-month contract.
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 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.
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.
Style of Play
As a Central Defender, Avraam plays with a good mix of aggression and brute strength, coupled with good athleticism and agility for someone of his size. He is a robust Defender unafraid of mixing it up physically on the field of play. After a serious knee injury suffered in 2012, he has had to curb this "all action" style somewhat due to the very serious injury. Unable to rely on his pace as he once did, he has had to become a much smarter defender, relying on good positioning and using his experience to navigate his way around the pitch.
- As of 10 November 2019
|Shanghai Shenhua||2015||Chinese Super League||23||1||1||0||0||0||24||1|
|Júbilo Iwata||2016||J1 League||13||1||1||0||0||0||14||1|
|Brisbane Roar FC||2016–17||A-League||7||0||0||0||3||0||10||0|
- Superleague Greece: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Greek Football Cup: 2009, 2012, 2013
- "Stats Centre: Arvaam Papadopoulos Facts". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- "Aris-Zaragoza 1–0". 20 September 2007.
- "Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος: Η καρδιά μας έχει κρυώσει..." 1 July 2008.
- "Olympiakos Piraeus President Suspect in Match-Fixing Scandal". 24 June 2011.
- Η μεγάλη επιστροφή Αβραάμ! Archived 12 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Team of the season". Ολυμπιακός-ΑΕΚ 3–0. 10 March 2013.
- "Papadopoulos slams Michel after Olympiacos exit". 2 September 2014.
- "Trabzonspor signs Avraam Papadopoulos". 1 September 2014.
- "Trabzonspor transfers Avraam Papadopoulos". 23 January 2015.
- "Guangzhou Evergrande vs. Shanghai Shenhua 2 – 2". 15 August 2015.
- "Ελεύθερος από την κινεζική Σενχούα ο Παπαδόπουλος". 20 February 2016.
- "Atromitos monitoring Avraam Papadopoulos". 23 February 2016.
- "Στην Ιαπωνία ο Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος". 18 May 2016.
- "Avispa Fukuoka vs. Júbilo Iwata 2 – 3". 24 August 2016.
- "Τέλος από την Júbilo Iwata ο Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος". 5 November 2016.
- "Roar signing boosts defence". FourFourTwo. 14 February 2017.
- "Επίσημο! Εκεί συνεχίζει ο Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος". www.onsports.gr. 22 June 2017.
- "Brisbane Roar hold Wellington Phoenix to 3–3 A-League draw". www.abc.net.au. 28 October 2017.
- "Brisbane Roar 3 Melbourne City 1: Papadopoulos at the double as hosts finally win". gr.soccerway.com. 17 November 2017.
- "Δύο γκολ στην Αυστραλία ο Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος". www.sport24.gr. 17 November 2017.
- "Roar defender Avraam Papadopoulos facing lengthy ban for spitting at Sydney FC player". www.news.com.au. 25 November 2017.
- "Avraam Papadopoulos banned for seven games for spitting at Matt Simon". www.sdna.gr. 13 December 2017.
- "A-League: John Kosmina says Brisbane Roar can no longer use injuries excuse after Newcastle loss". www.foxsports.com.au. 12 January 2018.
- "BRISBANE ROAR 3 PERTH GLORY 2: HOLMAN SETTLES FIVE-GOAL THRILLER". www.goal.com. 18 January 2018.
- "Έσπασε τον αστράγαλό του ο Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος!". www.gazzetta.gr. 6 March 2018.
- "Ο Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλος εγκαταλείπει την Brisbane Roar και επιστρέφει στον Ολυμπιακό". neoskosmos.com. 27 January 2019.
- "Ολυμπιακός: Ανακοίνωσε την επιστροφή του Αβραάμ Παπαδόπουλου". www.sport24.gr. 28 January 2019.
- Greece bearing gifts for Stoltidis Archived 2 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Greece loses Avraam Papadopoulos
- "Greece World Cup 2014 squad". telegraph.co.uk. 19 May 2014.
- Avraam Papadopoulos at National-Football-Teams.com
- Avraam Papadopoulos at Soccerway
- Avraam Papadopoulos at J.League (in Japanese)