Konstantopoulos playing for Middlesbrough in 2014
|Full name||Dimitrios Konstantopoulos|
|Date of birth||29 November 1978|
|Place of birth||Thessaloniki, Greece|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|2008||→ Nottingham Forest (loan)||0||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Swansea City (loan)||4||(0)|
|2009||→ Swansea City (loan)||3||(0)|
|2009||→ Cardiff City (loan)||9||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 May 2015.
After playing amateur football with Iraklis Ampelokipi, Konstantopoulos signed his first professional contract with Kalamata in 1996; he would go on to make 12 appearances in six years for the club, with a spell at Egaleo yielding three further appearances between 2001 and 2002. He moved to Portuguese side Farense after this, before joining Hartlepool United in October 2003. After making 117 league appearances for Hartlepool, Konstantopoulos opted to switch to Coventry City in 2007. However, he was unable to hold down a first team place, and, after loan spells with Nottingham Forest, Swansea City (twice) and Cardiff City between 2008 and 2009, Konstantopoulos was released in 2010 having made 31 league appearances for Coventry. He returned to Greece, spending a successful season with Kerkyra before switching to AEK Athens for the next two seasons. Following AEK's relegation, he was released at the end of his contract, and joined current club Middlesbrough in August 2013.
Konstantopoulos began his professional career with Kalamata in 1996, having previously been playing amateur football for Iraklis Ampelokipi that year. After making seven appearances in four seasons, he spent just over a season with Egaleo from 2001 to 2001, where he made three appearances. He then returned to Kalamata, and made another five appearances the following season. Prior to moving to England, he had been playing in Portugal for SC Farense.
Konstantopoulos spent the majority of his first season playing for Hartlepool’s reserve team and as a substitute. In the following 2004-05 season, Konstantopoulos finally made his début in the 2–1 League Cup win over Macclesfield Town on 24 August 2004. Konstantopoulos then made his league début in the 2–1 win against Colchester United six days later. Although still second-choice to Jim Provett at that point, he would become number one from the end of October, going on to make a total of 37 appearances that year. He was part of the Hartlepool United side that reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2005, and he kept 25 clean sheets during Hartlepool's 2005-06 campaign.
Konstantopoulos signed for Coventry City on 30 June 2007, after he rejected a new contract offer from Hartlepool. He made his début in Coventry's first match of the season, which was a 4–1 victory over Barnsley. Although a regular starter for Coventry for the first half of the season, the arrival of Kasper Schmeichel pushed him to third choice (behind Andy Marshall), and Konstantopoulos made his 23rd, and last, appearance of the season on 9 February 2008, in a 1–0 defeat to Millwall.
On 24 March 2008 Konstantopoulos signed for Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the 2007–08 season. He then ruptured his Achilles tendon on his first day of training at The City Ground.
On 24 October 2008, Konstantopoulos signed for Swansea City on a one-month emergency loan deal, after Swansea's first choice keeper Dorus de Vries suffered a double fracture to his jaw against Queens Park Rangers. He made his Swansea début against Doncaster Rovers on 1 November, saving a penalty late in the match. He extended his loan spell by a month later in November, having made two further appearances. His form for Swansea led to manager Roberto Martinez stating that he wished to keep Konstantopoulos permanently in December. After one further appearance, he briefly returned to Coventry on 2 January 2009 after being recalled due to Coventry's injury problems, before rejoining Swansea on loan four days later until the end of the month. Although Coventry and Swansea agreed a deal that would see Konstantopoulos remain in Wales until the end of the season, issues with the paperwork meant that the Football League refused to allow the extension. He thus returned to Coventry having made five appearances for Swansea in total.
Three days after returning to Coventry, Konstantopoulos was again loaned out, this time to Swansea's local rivals Cardiff City until the end of the season as cover for Finland international Peter Enckelman who was ruled out for up to two months after undergoing knee surgery. With second choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton also being ruled out through injury, Konstantopoulos was handed his debut on 22 February against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a match which ended in a 2–2 draw after Konstantopoulos scored an own goal after dropping a cross from Wolves midfielder Kyel Reid into his own net. Konstantopoulos remained in goal for the following games, but made another error in a 2–0 defeat to Norwich City, when he failed to clear a long pass and was tackled by Dave Mooney to concede the first goal of the game. After Konstantopoulos suffered a foot injury in March, Cardiff manager Dave Jones signed Stuart Taylor on loan from Aston Villa; although Konstantopoulos remained with Cardiff for the rest of the season, he did not play again for the club, and he returned to Coventry at the end of the season having made a total of six appearances.
Return to Coventry City
Konstantopoulos remained with Coventry City for the start of the 2009–10 season, and made his first appearance in a year for the club in the 1–0 League Cup defeat to Hartlepool on 12 August 2009. Following an injury to first choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood during a match against West Brom on 24 October, Konstantopoulos was brought on as a substitute and helped the club to their first clean sheet in eleven games. Although stating an intention to fight for a first team place, he made just two more appearances before Westwood returned to the team on 21 November. His next appearance came in a 1–1 draw with Portsmouth in the FA Cup on 2 January 2010; although he drew praise from BBC Sport for his performance in this match, it would also prove to be his last game for Coventry. He was released at the end of the season after his contract expired, having made 27 appearances for the club.
After seven years abroad, Konstantopoulos returned to the Greek Super League with Kerkyra. He made his début in Kerkyra's opening game of the season, which was a 2-1 victory against AEK Athens at the Panpeloponnesian Stadium on 29 August. His good form resulted in him being called up to the Greek national football team by coach Fernando Santos, and Konstantopoulos made his senior international début in the 3-1 win against Malta in June 2011. He finished the season having made 30 appearances for Kerkyra.
On 13 July 2011, Konstantopoulos signed a two-year deal with AEK Athens. He suffered a spinal cord injury in a Europa League match against FC Dinamo Tbilisi on 25 August; although able to play in AEK's next Europa League match on 15 September, which was against RSC Anderlecht, he was forced to undergo surgery two weeks later. Konstantopoulos started the season as second-choice behind Giannis Arabatzis in the Super League, but became number one in March. He spent the 2012–13 season as AEK's primary goalkeeper, but after making 24 appearances that season, and 39 league appearances in total, he was released following AEK's relegation.
On 16 August 2013, Konstantopoulos signed a short-term deal with Middlesbrough until January 2014, which was later extended to the end of the season. He had to wait for January's FA Cup defeat to Hull on 4 January 2014 to make his début, with Shay Given having joined on loan when first-choice Jason Steele injured his ankle, conceding two goals in the process. He then went on to make his full league début against Ipswich on 8 March 2014 in a 2-0 victory. After Given returned to Aston Villa, Aitor Karanka opted to use Konstantopoulos as his number one goalkeeper, ahead of Steele and Tomas Mejias, and Middlesbrough opened contract talks with Konstantopoulos in April. On 1 May 2014, Konstantopoulos signed a new one-year contract with Middlesbrough after making 13 appearances. He remained number one for the 2014–15 season, and was described by Sky Sports as being "instrumental" to Middlesbrough's form at the end of 2014. Greece international goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos has extended his contract with Middlesbrough, although terms are undisclosed. Konstantopoulos, 36, has emerged as Boro's first-choice keeper the 2014/15 season, despite the permanent arrival of Tomas Mejias from Real Madrid. "It's great news for everyone. "Dimi is the kind of player you want in your squad," Boro boss Aitor Karanka said. "He was the third goalkeeper in the squad when we came here and now he is number one. He has done really well. He brings experience to the dressing room and he is a very important member of our squad on and off the pitch."
On January 19, 2015 Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos is the "perfect" squad member after the 2-0 win against Huddersfield on Saturday,as conceding 12 goals in 23 matches and keeping 13 clean sheets in all. Boro have let in 17 goals in 26 games - the fewest in the Championship. On May 8, 2015 on Championship Playoffs, Middlesbrough dominated during the first half against Brentford and ultimately came away with a 2-1 win, with Fernando Amorebieta scoring very deep in injury time. Jelle Vossen and Andre Gray had both scored on either side of half-time and the match appeared destined to end in a draw, but the visitors managed to come away with a win and a one-goal advantage. Cards started flying as the intensity of the match increased, before Alan Judge's booming shot hit the cross-bar out of nowhere. Replays confirmed Dimi Konstantopoulos' fingertips stopped the ball from going in.
On 25 May 2015, Konstantopoulos was present in the 2015 Play-off Final, where Norwich claimed an instant return to the Barclays Premier League as a lightning start helped them record a 2-0 play-off final victory against Middlesbrough at Wembley.
Dimi Konstantopoulos who believes Boro will build on the platform set over the last 12 months and go one better next time out. The experienced stopper is no stranger to play-off final heartbreak having been part of the Hartlepool United side that suffered the agony of conceding a late leveller before losing to Sheffield Wednesday in extra-time at Cardiff 10 years ago. “You can’t describe that feeling of losing a final - it’s horrible, it’s very unpleasant,” said Konstantopoulos, concluding that “we'll be stronger and better next year”.
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