Lazaros Christodoulopoulos

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Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
20130814 AT-GR Lazaros Christodoulopoulos 2368.jpg
Christodoulopoulos with Greece in 2013
Personal information
Full name Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
Date of birth (1986-12-19) 19 December 1986 (age 31)
Place of birth Thessaloniki, Greece
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Playing position Winger
Attacking midfielder
Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
Olympiacos
Youth career
2000–2005 PAOK
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 PAOK 57 (8)
2008–2013 Panathinaikos 89 (15)
2013–2014 Bologna 39 (3)
2014–2016 Hellas Verona 22 (1)
2015–2016 Sampdoria (loan) 10 (1)
2016–2018 AEK Athens 57 (12)
2018– Olympiacos 0 (0)
National team
2005–2006 Greece U19 7 (2)
2006–2008 Greece U21 13 (7)
2008– Greece 32 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:55, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 01:17, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Greek: Λάζαρος Χριστοδουλόπουλος, born 19 December 1986) is a Greek footballer who plays for Olympiacos and the Greek national team. His main strengths are his technique, pace and acceleration with the ball. Like his Greek teammate Sokratis Papastathopoulos, his surname is too long to fit on his shirt, so his shirt reads Lazaros instead.

Club career[edit]

PAOK[edit]

Christodoulopoulos started his career when he was picked up by Omonoia Sindos (in Thessaloniki) at a young age, and then Neapoli. His impressive performances caught the eye of a PAOK scout, and joined PAOK in the summer of 2004. He has been a mainstay in the PAOK first team proving to be a vital team player.

As of 2008 many European clubs were interested in signing him. He was contracted to P.A.O.K. until 2008 with minimum fee release clause of €6 million.

In the summer of 2006 he was given a trial by English giants Liverpool but PAOK was reluctant to sell him at the time. This started a dispute that prevented him from playing for more than half of the 2006–07 season. He was nicknamed "The Builder" by the local media, because during his fall-out in relations with PAOK, he stated that he would be better off being a construction worker than playing for PAOK again.

Panathinaikos[edit]

On 20 June 2008, Christodoulopoulos agreed a deal in principle to join Panathinaikos FC for €3.8 million.[2] Christodoulopoulos signed a four-year contract with the club.[3] On 18 February 2010, Christodoulopoulos scored against Roma after coming on, for the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

The 2011–12 season didn't start well for him, as he faced a serious knee injury during pre-season which led him to surgery. The club doctors said that he would be expected to return after five months. After months of therapy and special treatment, he joined the rest of the team at training in December. On December 29, 2011, the club president announced that Christodoulopoulos had agreed to sign a new three-year contract until 2015 since his contract was going to expire during the end of the 2011–12 season. In January 2012, it was reported that Liverpool were interested in signing Christodoulopoulos, the former trialist at the club, for £2,000,000 (€4,500,000).

Christodoulopoulos began 2012–13 by scoring in European and championship matches. He was given the number "10". He and Ibrahim Sissoko were the most important players for the season. In December, in order for Panathinaikos' president, Giannis Alafouzos, to save money for the team, he released players with high-paying contacts; as a result Christodoulopoulos was released alongside Nikos Spyropoulos, Loukas Vyntra, Antonis Petropoulos and Sebastian Leto.

Bologna[edit]

On 31 January 2013, Lazaros was transferred to Bologna on a free transfer. On 26 February 2013, Lazaros made his debut against Fiorentina coming on as a substitute and scoring a goal in a 2–1 win.[citation needed]

The departure of Alessandro Diamanti in January has opened its doors as a starter for Lazaros Christodoulopoulos. The Greek attacking midfielder has proved ready and able to take advantage of the chances he had, becoming one of the linchpins of the team coached by Davide Ballardini.

In March 2014, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos netted a late consolation penalty in a 2–1 away loss against Livorno.[4] It was his first goal in the season. A week later, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos gave Bologna's survival hopes a massive boost with a crucial 1–0 win over Cagliari at the Dal’Ara. He was outstanding for the club and at the heart of the club's excellent attacking football so it was no surprise when he swept home the winner from the penalty spot. Lazaros curled a free kick over the top for Bologna before being denied by another brilliant save with 15 minutes to go after again jinking past defenders and letting loose. Two minutes afterwards, the man of the match involved in everything was at the centre of controversy when the referee adjudged Daniele Dessena to have pushed him to the ground inside the box. The spot kick was awarded and Lazaros stepped up to provide the cool conversion and give his side a priceless win.[5]

On 16 May 2014, there was tension in the training campus at Bologna, a few days after the last challenge at the Olimpico against Lazio ending a disappointing season that led to relegation to Serie B. An entry of Cesare Natali's hard training on Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, sparked the reaction of the Greek midfielder. Lazaros is afraid to get hurt and jeopardize his participation at the 2014 World Cup.[6]

Bologna, after relegation, will proceed with the disposal of its most popular players. As reported by TuttoSport, one of the starters will be the Greek midfielder Lazaros Christodoulopoulos. The player has become the object of desire in Italy especially for Torino, Palermo and Fiorentina.[7] The key element in his game is that the Greek midfielder knows how to take responsibility when the team is in trouble.[8]

Hellas Verona[edit]

Hellas Verona have officially signed a three-years' contract with Greek international Lazaros Christodoulopoulos from Bologna for €1,3 million. The deal had been in the works over the last few days and hit problems when Verona's player Domenico Maietta refused a move the other way. On 30 June 2014, Verona released a statement confirming Christodoulopoulos had been bought outright without the need for an exchange.[9][10] In January 2015, the interest of Hellas Verona in signing Argentinian offensive midfielder and winger Juan Sánchez Miño from Torino, leads the Gialloblù to offer him to i Granata the loan of Greek international same role player Lazaros Christodoulopoulos in exchange, according to Sky Sport Italia.[11]

Loan to Sampdoria[edit]

On 31 August 2015, Christodoulopoulos joined Sampdoria in a swap deal involving Paweł Wszołek with the latter leaving Sampdoria on loan for Hellas Verona.[12] The Greek midfielder has joined the club on an initial loan with an option to make the switch permanent. On 5 March 2016, he scored the third goal with the club in a 3–0 away win against Hellas Verona, when Lorenzo De Silvestri had his cross slammed into the back of the net from Christodoulopoulos on the volley, his first for the club coming against his former side.[13]

AEK Athens[edit]

Christodoulopoulos playing for AEK in the Champions League Qualification Round (2017)

2016–2017 season[edit]

On 27 August 2016, Christodoulopoulos signed a 3-season (2+1) contract for AEK Athens, as a free transfer, in order to return to his motherland after 3.5 years in Italy.[14][15] On 25 October 2016, he scored his first goal with the club, in a 4-0 Greek Cup home win game against Kerkyra.[16] On 5 February 2017, he scored a brace in a 6-0 home Super League win against Veria and was named "Man of the Match". On 2 April he scored in his club 2-3 home loss Super League game against his former club, Panathinaikos.[17] On 6 May 2017, in the 2016-17 Greek Cup final Lazaros had equalized after Diego Biseswar's opener for the home side PAOK, in a 2-1 loss.[18]

2017–2018 season[edit]

Christodoulopoulos solidified his position as the team's main right winger during the 2017-2018 preseason. On 14 September 2017, he sealed the score in the second half with a direct free kick as AEK won 2-1 after an impressive performance against Rijeka at his first matchday of 2017-18 Europa League's group stage.[19][20] On 18 September 2017, AEK won 1-0 against newly-promoted Super League club Lamia, at Peristeri Stadium, thanks to Christodoulopoulos, coming from the bench, scoring the goal of the match at 81', that brought the team of Manolo Jimenez on the top of the table, with 10 points after 4 games. It was his first Superleague goal for the 2017-18 season.[21] On 24 September 2017, he scored 2 goals, including another wonderful free kick, helping his club come from behind and defeat Olympiakos with the score 3-2 against AEK. Mantalos' goal on the 89th minute completed the comeback and the final whistle put AEK on the top of the table.It was named MVP of the game.[22] On 23 November 2017, he heads leveller in a home 2-2 UEFA Europa League group stage home game against Rijeka,as Andrej Prskalo comes off his line to punch away Anastasios Bakasetas's free-kick, but his clearance falls kindly for Christodoulopoulos, who scored into the unguarded net.[23]

On 27 January 2018, Christodoulopoulos opened the scoring for Manolo Jimenez’s team after 40 minutes at the Olympic Stadium in a 2-0 home win against Lamia [24] On 7 February 2018, he opened the score in a 2-1 home Greek Cup win game against rivals Olympiacos, helping AEK to be promoted to the semi-finals. [25] On 11 February 2018, Christodoulopoulos scored the only goal with a penalty kick four minutes after he entered in the field, beating their Asteras Tripoli 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium to move one point clear of PAOK at the summit.[26] On 1 April 2018, in the derby against Panathinaikos, Christodoulopoulos reached 200 appearances with all his clubs in the Superleague. [27] On 15 April 2018, he scored a crucial goal sealing a 1-0 away win against Platanias, that helped Superleague leaders AEK inched closer to the league title for the first time since 1994.[28] Three days later, he scored a wonderful bicycle kick in the 94th minute of the Cup semi-final against AEL. It was the winning goal that helped AEK advance to the final against PAOK, with an aggregate score of 2-2. [29] [30] He finished his best season in his career having 47 appearances (16 goals, 4 assists) in all competitions.

On 14 May 2018, AEK decided to put Christodoulopoulos in the out-of-favour list due to the player perceiving the club's contract renewal talks as 'threats' and being in discussions with rivals Olympiacos over a potential career move. The club decided to settle the player's contract breach issues in the court of law,[31] while Lazaros and the Reds retaliated by filing a lawsuit on grounds of the player's contract expiring in the summer of 2018,[32] despite AEK claiming that the player had signed a mandatory one-year extension clause as part of the deal.[33]

Olympiacos[edit]

Following his legal conflict with AEK, Olympiacos announced the acquisition of Christodoulopoulos on 15 May 2018, on a 2-year deal effective from the beginning of July.[34] Lazaros thus became the first and only player in Greek football history to wear the shirt of all 'Big-4' teams of the country - the other two being Panathinaikos and PAOK.[35]

International career[edit]

After impressing Greece coach Otto Rehhagel, he was called to the Greek national football team for the first time on 1 February 2008[36] and made his debut in the win over the Czech Republic on 5 February.Fernando Santos's team went ahead in the 20th minute through Christodoulopoulos's strike who headed the only goal as Greece secured a well-deserved 1–0 victory over Lithuania in the 2014 World Cup qualifier which kept them in touch with Group G leaders Bosnia-Herzegovina.[37]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Greece's goal tally first.
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 June 2013 LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania  Lithuania 0–1 0–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Panathinaikos[edit]

AEK Athens[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 12 May 2018
Club Season League Cup Continental[A] Others[B] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
PAOK 2004–05 1 0 1 0 2 0
2005–06 24 3 1 0 4 1 29 4
2006–07 7 2 7 2
2007–08 25 3 1 1 26 4
Total 57 8 3 1 4 1 0 0 64 10
Panathinaikos 2008–09 19 3 4 4 5 0 28 7
2009–10 16 1 5 0 9 1 30 2
2010–11 26 5 4 2 4 0 34 7
2011–12 17 3 17 3
2012–13 11 3 1 1 9 2 22 6
Total 89 15 14 7 27 3 0 0 131 25
Bologna 2012–13 12 1 0 0 12 1
2013–14 27 2 2 0 29 2
Total 39 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 41 3
Verona 2014–15 22 1 2 1 24 2
Total 22 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 24 2
Sampdoria 2015–16 10 1 1 0 11 1
Total 10 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 1
AEK 2016–17 30 5 6 3 6 1 36 8
2017–18 27 7 8 6 12 3 0 0 47 16
Total 57 12 14 9 12 3 6 1 83 24
Career total 268 39 36 18 43 7 6 1 353 65

Notes[edit]

A. ^ Includes appearances in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
B. ^ Includes appearances in the Superleague Greece play-offs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 18. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  2. ^ SPORTACTION – Παναθηναϊκός
  3. ^ Christodoulopoulos signed for Panathinaikos FC
  4. ^ Livorno – Bologna 2–1
  5. ^ "Bologna 1–0 Cagliari: Outstanding Lazaros fires Felsinei to massive win". forzaitalianfootball.com. 
  6. ^ "Tensione Bologna: lite fra Natali e Lazaros". corrieredellosport.it. 
  7. ^ "Mercato, anche la Fiorentina interessata a Lazaros Christodoulopoulos del Bologna". 
  8. ^ "Mercato Bologna: Lazaros Christodoulopoulos osservato speciale di due club italiani". forzaitalianfootball.com. 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Christodoulopoulos to Verona". football-italia.net. 1 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Επίσημα στην Βερόνα ο Χριστοδουλόπουλος!". sentragoal.gr. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Christodoulopoulos offered to Torino for signing Sanchez Miño". transfermarketweb.com. 8 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Scambio con l'Hellas Verona: Christodoulopoulos al Doria, Wszolek in gialloblù". U.C. Sampdoria. 31 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Hellas Verona 0–3 Sampdoria: Blucerchiati compound Hellas Verona misery". forzaitalianfootball.com. 5 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Στα γραφεία της ΑΕΚ ο Χριστοδουλόπουλος". www.sport24.gr. 27 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "Επίσημο: Στην ΑΕΚ ο Χριστοδουλόπουλος". www.contra.gr. 27 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "ΑΕΚ - Κέρκυρα 4-0". www.gazzetta.gr. 25 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "Επίσημο: Ο Μπεργκ λύτρωσε τον ΠΑΟ στο 90', 3-2 την ΑΕΚ". sports.in.gr. 2 April 2017. 
  18. ^ "PAOK Salonica beat AEK Athens to win Greek Cup final marred by crowd violence". www.marca.com. 6 May 2017. 
  19. ^ "Rijeka – AEK 1:2". www.nk-rijeka.hr. 14 September 2017. 
  20. ^ "Ξεκίνημα για πρόκριση, 2-1 η ΑΕΚ τη Ριέκα". www.sport24.gr. 14 September 2017. 
  21. ^ "Πρώτη με πέναλτι-"φάντασμα" η ΑΕΚ, 1-0 τη Λαμία". www.sport24.gr. 17 September 2017. 
  22. ^ "Ιστορική ανατροπή η ΑΕΚ, 3-2 τον Ολυμπιακό". www.sport24.gr. 24 September 2017. 
  23. ^ "AEK comes back to draw with Rijeka, but still has work to do". www.ekathimerini.com. 23 November 2017. 
  24. ^ "Νίκη με συνοπτικές διαδικασίες, 2-0 η ΑΕΚ τη Λαμία". www.sport24.gr. 27 January 2018. 
  25. ^ "Πρόκριση με γκολάρες: Η ΑΕΚ στον ημιτελικό, 2-1 τον Ολυμπιακό". www.sport24.gr. 7 February 2018. 
  26. ^ "Ο Αραούχο τα έχανε αλλά ο Λάζαρος το έβαλε – ΑΕΚ- Αστερας Τρίπολης 1-0". www.eleftherostypos.gr. 11 February 2018. 
  27. ^ "Έπιασε την «200αρα» στο ντέρμπι ο Χριστοδουλόπουλος". www.sdna.gr. 1 April 2018. 
  28. ^ "Πλατανιάς-ΑΕΚ 0-1: Πιο κοντά με Λάζαρο". www.onsports.gr. 15 April 2018. 
  29. ^ "ΑΕΚ-ΑΕΛ 1-0: Ο Λάζαρος με γκολάρα την έστειλε στον τελικό με τον ΠΑΟΚ!". www.onsports.gr. 18 April 2018. 
  30. ^ "ΑΕΚ-ΑΕΛ 1-0". www.sdna.gr. 18 April 2018. 
  31. ^ "Άγριο το διαζύγιο ΑΕΚ - Λάζαρου". Contra.gr. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  32. ^ Team, Onsports (2018-05-15). "«Πόλεμος»! Εξώδικα Λάζαρου, Ολυμπιακού στην ΑΕΚ!". Onsports.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  33. ^ "Ο Χριστοδουλόπουλος στο Sport24.gr: Δεν μπορώ να συνεχίσω στην ΑΕΚ". Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  34. ^ Olympiacos.org | Official Website of Olympiacos Piraeus (in Greek) http://www.olympiacos.org/article/73943/lazaros-gia-dyo-xronia-ston-thrylo. Retrieved 2018-05-15.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ "Ανακοινώθηκε ο Χριστοδουλόπουλος από τον Ολυμπιακό!". Contra.gr. Retrieved 2018-05-15. 
  36. ^ Greece bearing gifts for Stoltidis Archived 2 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. ^ Christodoulopoulos strikes earns Greece victory over Lithuania

External links[edit]