Kleanthis Maropoulos

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Kleanthis Maropoulos
Personal information
Full name Kleanthis Maropoulos
Date of birth 1919
Place of birth Istanbul, Turkey
Date of death 1991
Place of death Athens, Greece
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1931–1933 Prasina Poulia
1933–1934 Ethikos Kalogreza
1934 AEK Athens
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1934–1952 AEK Athens 144 (89)
Total 144 (89)
National team
1938–1950 Greece 10 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 June 2007.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 June 2006

Kleanthis Maropoulos (Greek: Κλεάνθης Μαρόπουλος) (1919–1991) was a star football player for AEK Athens FC and Greece during the 1930s and 1940s. Arguably the finest Greek football player of his period, he was affectionately known as the "Blonde Eagle of AEK".

Born in 1919 to Greek parents in Tuzla, near Istanbul, Maropoulos came to Greece with his family at age 3 during the population exchanges after the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922). Having settled in Kalamata, at age 12 he joined the local football club Prasina Poulia, the Green Birds. When his parents moved to Kalogreza in the Athens area, he signed for Ethnikos Kalogreza. In 1934, he was spotted by AEK who placed him in their youth team. In 1936, he was promoted to the first team. Led by Maropoulos, alongside players like Tryfon Tzanetis and Kostas Negrepontis, AEK won their first two Greek Championships in 1939 and 1940 - the first domestic double by a Greek club. Unfortunately, the glory years of AEK and Maropoulos were interrupted by World War II, but he did continue his career after the war, playing until the late 1940s. He is credited with scoring 253 goals, 97 of which he attained prior to the war.

Maropoulos was capped 10 times by Greece. He subsequently managed the Greek National Football Team in the early 1960s before retiring from football to manage his sporting goods stores.[1]