Giannis Fetfatzidis

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Giannis Fetfatzidis
Fetfatzidis in 2012
Personal information
Full name Ioannis Fetfatzidis
Date of birth (1991-12-21) 21 December 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth Drama, Greece
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Number 18
Youth career
2003–2009 Olympiacos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2013 Olympiacos 53 (5)
2013–2015 Genoa 36 (4)
2015Chievo Verona (loan) 4 (0)
2015–2018 Al-Ahli 67 (15)
2018– Olympiacos 0 (0)
National team
2010–2011 Greece U21 3 (0)
2010– Greece 25 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2015

Ioannis "Giannis" Fetfatzidis (Greek: Ιωάννης Φετφατζίδης; born 21 December 1990) is a Greek footballer for Olympiacos and the Greek national team. Primarily a winger, Fetfatzidis is a mazy dribbler with excellent ball control. His incisiveness is also aided by his impressive pace, which helps him beat opponents.[2]

Early years[edit]

Fetfatzidis began playing football in the Vouliagmeni academies at age six. His father was also a footballer for Sourmena FC. His most significant spells were with Sourmena FC's academy and senior team. He left the club's youth team in 2004 at age 12 after he was spotted by coach Kostas Arzenis of the Olympiacos Academies. Although there was competition from AEK Athens and Panathinaikos, he joined Olympiacos who helped him with his growth hormone treatment.[3]

Club career[edit]


Fetfatzidis made his debut with Olympiacos in the Greek championship during the 2009–10 season, participating in the win against Atromitos on 31 October 2009. Manager Zico gave him his Champions League debut against Standard Liège on 4 November 2009 in Liège, Belgium, substituting Luciano Galletti in the 39th minute of play.

On 15 July 2010, in Tirana, Albania, he made his first appearance in the Europa League against Besa Kavajë, replacing Jaouad Zairi in the 75th minute. Fetfatzidis scored his first European goal in the home match against Besa Kavajë in G. Karaiskakis Stadium in a high-scoring victory for Olympiacos. The match ended 6–1. Fetfatzidis scored his first goal in the Greek Superleague against Skoda Xanthi on 16 October 2010, replacing Dennis Rommedahl in the match. The match ended in a 0–3 victory for Olympiacos. His second goal was scored against Larissa in the last match of the season.

In early September 2010, Olympiacos extended his contract until 2015, increasing his wages and putting a €12.5 million release clause on his contract.[4] On 23 November 2011, Fetfatzidis gave Olympiacos a 1–0 victory over Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League by scoring in the 82nd minute at the Stade Vélodrome, placing them in third place in Group F.[5]

Controversy followed the player in 2012. To everyone's surprise, despite helping Greece qualify for UEFA Euro 2012 with matching-winning qualifying goals, Fetfatzidis was quickly dropped from the first team when the tournament finally arrived and spent the whole competition on the bench. Bizarrely at Olympiacos during the same season, despite having better goal/minute and assist/minute ratios than first team wingers like Djamel Abdoun, Fetfatzidis found himself planted to the bench for most the 2011–12 season.

To further confuse the issue, from the start of the 2012–13 season, despite an excellent 2012 pre-season, Fetfatzidis was again largely ignored at Olympiacos. The 2012–13 season proved a major disappointment as he was left out of Olympiacos line-up regularly, clocking up just 12 league appearances. Despite that, the 22-year-old scored a sublime goal against Panthrakikos in the Greek Cup semi-finals, dribbling past five opponents along the way.[6] This prompted questions from the media about why he was abandoned as a player, with Sakis Tsiolis and other competing clubs' managers openly questioning why he is not being played despite outshining his peers and drawing comparisons to Kyriakos Papadopoulos's treatment at Olympiacos years previous.[7] Under Spanish coach Míchel, Fetfatzidis got more playing time at the club.


Fetfatzidis became on September 2013 the most expensive Greek player to move out of the Super League this summer by securing a 4 million-euro transfer from Olympiacos to Serie A club Genoa. The Greece attacking midfielder, has accepted the improved offer by Genoa that will earn him 500,000 euros per year. The deal also contains a clause providing for Genoa to give Olympiacos 25 percent of the money it will get when it sells Fetfatzidis to another club in the future. The 23-year-old Drama-born player is a product of the Olympiacos academy and was eager to play in Italy. "I wish to thank [Olympiacos president] Vangelis Marinakis for helping me make my dream come true," said Fetfatzidis. Ioannis Fetfatzidis has admitted that he has been struck by the level of support the Genoa fans have shown since his arrival. “The stadium is beautiful and the fans have really hit me,” he told reporters. “Football is clearly very popular in this city. I have not been on a tour of the city yet, but I will very soon. That’ll be the first step towards me acclimatization. “My ambitions? I just want to work. And if I do that, then I’m sure I can have my say”, he said in his first interview.[8]

Undoubtedly after few games with Genoa, the Greek winger had already impressed sufficiently at the Italian club to have attracted the interest of several top European sides. Scouts from Fulham and Everton have been spotted at Genoa's home games and are believed to have been impressed with the performances of the 5 foot 5 winger. Moreover, Fetfatzidis has been linked with a move to the Premier League as Roberto Martinez has reportedly identified the 22-year-old as a possible signing for the January transfer window. However, it is understood that Genoa are currently only willing to sell if a team will match their 9 million Euro valuation.[9]

He made his first appearance with the club on 21 September 2013 in a home 0–0 draw against Livorno as a substitute. On 26 March 2014, he scored his first goal with the club in 2–0 home win against Lazio.[10] On 18 May 2014, Genoa have recorded a 1–0 win over Roma in last season's game for Serie A at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The Giallorossi got a number of chances to open the scoring, but were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal by Giannis Fetfatzidis' winner. Genoa then went 1–0 up in the closing stages of the game against the run of play when Fetfatzidis found the goal with a calm finish. [11]

On January 15, 2015 Fetfatzidis rescues Genoa by scoring two goals in a thriller game with Sassuolo as his club came from behind three times to deny Sassuolo a victory as their Serie A clash ended in a thrilling 3–3 draw.[12][13] On January 31, 2015 Chievo Verona have officially taken Ioannis Fetfatzidis on loan from Genoa for the rest of the season.The deal was confirmed with a statement on the Flying Donkeys website this afternoon. It is a straight six-month loan and does not appear to include an option to buy.[14]


On 30 July 2015 Fetfatzidis joined to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli signing a three years' contract.[15] On 12 September 2015, Fetfatzidis playing against Hajer for the last 16 of the Crown Prince Cup he managed to score his first goal with the club, three minutes after his entrance in the 78th minute.[16] At the end of the season he celebrated the Saudi Professional League. On 8 August was a starter in a 5–3 on penalties after a 1–1 draw in London Fulham's stadium Craven Cottage against Al-Hilal winning the Saudi Super Cup.[17] On 6 November 2016, he scored his first goal for the 2016–17 season in a 4–0 home win against Al-Wehda.[18] On 13 March 2017, he scored the second goal of his club giving a lead for a final 2–2 home draw against Al Ain FC for the AFC Champions League. On 12 May 2017, one month after the renewal of the contract with Al-Ahli, Fetfatzidis scored a goal which paved the way to qualifying for the final of the King Cup in a glorious 3–0 win against Al-Faisaly FC. Giannis Fetfatzidis recently extended his contract with Al-Ahli until 2019.[19] On 17 August 2017, he scored his first goal for the 2017–18 season with a penalty kick in a 4–0 home win against Al-Fateh SC. He didn't play in the quarter final of AFC Champions League because his name was not included by the coach. Under Serhiy Rebrov in 2017–18, he has played in all 20 games of the league and scored 8 goals.

On mid May 2018, according to many sources, Fetfatzidis since 2015 when he moved to Al Ahli from the Serie A’s Genoa has been one of the club's star players making 100 appearances in all competitions with 21 goals scored, and 29 assists to his name. He recently signed a contract extension through 2019, however his contract was terminated and is now a free agent to sign on with a new club. [20]

Second spell to Olympiacos[edit]

On 30 May 2018, Fetfatzidis is set to make a return to Olympiacos after a 5-year absence from the club. The Greek winger has agreed to terms with the Greek giants and is expected to put pen to paper in the next days on a new deal. Fetfatzidis will sign a 3-year contract with annual earnings of €500,000. [21]

International career[edit]

Fetfatzidis made his debut with Greece in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying, participating in the 1–0 win over Latvia on 8 October 2010 at the G. Karaiskakis Stadium as an 82nd minute substitution for Sotiris Ninis. In the following game against Israel, he was substituted early for Ninis, who picked up an injury. On 9 February 2011, he scored his first goal for the national team at the AEL FC Arena in Larissa in a friendly match against Canada that Greece won 1–0.

Fetfatzidis scored his second and third goals for his country on 3 June against Malta during a Euro 2012 qualifying game.[22] On March 31, 2015 three Greece players (Fetfatzidis, Moras, Tachtsidis) suffer minor injuries after being involved in fatal car crash following Euro 2016 qualifier 0–0 with Hungary. The three players involved in car crash on way to Budapest airport on Monday and Ioannis Fetfatzidis reportedly received stitches to a head wound.[23]

Career statistics[edit]

The following statistics were current as of 12 April 2018.

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Club Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Olympiacos 2009–10 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
2010–11 19 2 3 0 2 1 24 3
2011–12 17 3 3 0 2 1 22 4
2012–13 12 0 8 1 2 0 22 1
2013–14 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 53 5 14 1 7 2 74 8
Genoa 2013–14 31 2 1 0 0 0 32 2
2014–15 5 2 0 0 0 0 5 2
Total 36 4 1 0 0 0 37 4
Chievo (loan) 2014–15 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Al-Ahli 2015–16 16 3 6 1 5 0 27 4
2016–17 25 3 8 2 8 1 41 6
2017–18 26 9 4 2 2 0 32 11
Total 67 15 18 5 15 1 100 21
Career total 160 24 33 6 22 3 215 33

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 9 February 2011 Larissa, Greece  Canada 1–0 Win Friendly Match
2. 3 June 2011 Piraeus, Greece  Malta 3–1 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier
3. 3 June 2011 Piraeus, Greece  Malta 3–1 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier

Style of Play[edit]

A skillful attacking midfielder, Fetfatzidis is known for his passing and his ability to score goals. At 5'5" he has a medium build that further facilitates agile mobility, Fetfatzidis possesses great vision that allows him to provide assists to accompanying forwards. Predominantly left-footed, he can play anywhere across midfield or the front-line, both able to create and finish with great aplomb, although many feel his finishing is the weakest part of his game.[24]




  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 18. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Olympiacos Excited About Greek Messi Fetfatzidis". Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Fetfatzidis blown away by Genoa fans
  9. ^ Ioannis Fetfatzidis on Everton radar
  10. ^ «Κάρφωσε» τη Λάτσιο ο Φετφατζίδης
  11. ^ Genoa 1-0 Roma: Fetfatzidis puts Garcia's men to the sword
  12. ^ Result: Ioannis Fetfatzidis rescues Genoa in thriller with Sassuolo
  13. ^ Serie A, Genoa-Sassuolo 3-3: Fetfatzidis saves the Gryphon
  14. ^ Chievo sign Genoa's Fetfatzidis
  15. ^ "Στην Αλ Αχλί ο Φετφατζίδης". 30 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Γκολάρα Φετφατζίδη με την Αλ-Αχλί!". 12 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Saudi Super Cup". 14 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Ο Φετφατζίδης πήρε την σκυτάλη απ'τον Καρέλη". 6 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "Έστειλε στον τελικό την Αλ Αχλί ο Φετφατζίδης". 12 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Τόσα έπαιρνε ο Φετφατζίδης στην Αλ Αχλί". 14 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Ολυμπιακός: Ανακοινώνεται ο Φετφατζίδης". 30 May 2017. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Three Greece players suffer minor injuries after being involved in fatal car crash following Euro 2016 qualifier with Hungary
  24. ^ "Ioannis Fetfatzidis".