Nikos Machlas

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Nikos Machlas
Personal information
Full name Nikolaos Machlas
Date of birth (1973-06-16) 16 June 1973 (age 46)
Place of birth Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
0000 OFI Crete
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1996 OFI Crete 154 (48)
1996–1999 Vitesse Arnhem 92 (60)
1999–2003 Ajax 74 (38)
2003Sevilla (loan) 14 (2)
2003–2004 Iraklis 26 (10)
2004–2006 OFI Crete 52 (21)
2006–2008 APOEL 51 (17)
Total 463 (196)
National team
1993–2002 Greece 61 (18)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nikolaos Machlas (Greek: Νίκος Μαχλάς, born 16 June 1973) is a Greek former professional football striker and chairman of OFI Crete.

Club career[edit]

OFI Crete[edit]

Machlas began his career with OFI Crete, where he made his debut in February 1991 against Panionios. He stayed at the club for six seasons.[1] He had the Dutch Eugène Gerards as a coach at OFI Crete.


Machlas signed for Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem in 1996. He scored a disappointing 8 goals in 29 games in his first season in the Eredivisie, but in his second season he scored 34 goals in just 32 games, a feat which earned him the European Golden Boot for the 1997–98 season. He scored 60 goals in 92 matches for Vitesse.


Machlas joined Eredivisie giant Ajax Amsterdam in June 1999 for a then-club record $8.6 million. Despite netting 38 goals in 74 Eredivisie league games spread over three seasons, Machlas' goalscoring record was not deemed prolific enough for the demanding Ajax fans and coaching staff. The team went through a transition as poor results meant Machlas had to endure three coaches in as many years. His place as striker became threatened by coach Ronald Koeman's preference for the younger strikers Zlatan Ibrahimović and Mido. His 12 goals in the 2001–02 season were nevertheless important in the run toward the first league title for Ajax in four years. Ajax also won the KNVB Beker that season, meaning they achieved the "double". At the start of the 2002–03 season, Koeman made it clear to Machlas that there was no future for him anymore in the first team of Ajax and was thus relegated to training and playing matches with the youth team. Eventually, the Greek striker and Ajax Amsterdam had split. "By mutual consent, Ajax and Nikos Machlas have terminated their contract. The termination takes effect immediately," Ajax said in a statement, adding that "the player could now join another club on a free transfer". [2]

After a brief (and frustrating) period in the Ajax youth team, he joined Spanish side Sevilla on loan for the rest of the season, with the Spanish club had an option to sign him on a three-year contract at the end of the season. The former Vitesse striker, who was the highest-paid player at Ajax, suffered further misery in Spain, after he was arrested for traffic offences. He made things worse by 'insulting and injuring' police officers who tried to arrest him after the offence had been committed.[3] He scored just 2 goals in 14 appearances. Upon returning to Ajax, his contract was terminated in July 2003. Before returning to Greece Machlas has emerged as a possible transfer target for Twente. Twente was in desperate need of an experienced striker capable of leading their attacking line next term. "We don't just want any striker," Tukkers chairman Herman Wessels told. "We need someone that fits in with us and makes us better." [4]


The 30-year-old Greek international forward signed a one-year contract with Iraklis with the option of a further two seasons. He played under the man he calls his "footballing father", Dutch coach Eugène Gerards, who gave Machlas his break aged 18 at OFI Crete. He scored 10 goals in 26 appearances.[5]

OFI Crete[edit]

He returned to his first club, OFI Crete and stayed there for two seasons. Upon the termination of his contract and after conflict with the club's chairman, he moved to APOEL, in Cyprus and signed a two years contract.


In his first year at APOEL Machlas helped his team to win the Championship. On 17 May 2008, he announced his retirement after the end of the Cypriot Cup final, where APOEL beat 2–0 Anorthosis and clinched the title.[6]

In 2009, he returned to his first club OFI Crete to take up the role of Sporting Director as they bid to return to the Greek Superleague.

International career[edit]

Machlas won 61 caps for Greece and scored 18 goals. He also scored a crucial goal against Russia that led Greece to FIFA World Cup - USA 94 at only 20 years of age. He started each of Greece's group games in the USA though they lost all three, to Argentina, Nigeria and Bulgaria and failed to score a goal. He played his last game for Greece against Sweden in February 2002.

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 10 March 1993 Ernst Happel Stadion, Wien, Austria  Austria 1–2 Loss Friendly
2. 12 October 1993 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 1–3 Win 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier
3. 17 November 1993 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece  Russia 1–0 Win 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier
4. 27 April 1994 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece  Saudi Arabia 5–1 Win Friendly
5. 27 April 1994 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece  Saudi Arabia 5–1 Win Friendly
6. 12 October 1994 Kaftanzoglio Stadium, Thessaloniki, Greece  Finland 4–0 Win UEFA Euro 1996 qualifier
7. 12 October 1994 Kaftanzoglio Stadium, Thessaloniki, Greece  Finland 4–0 Win UEFA Euro 1996 qualifier
8. 16 November 1994 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece  San Marino 2–0 Win UEFA Euro 1996 qualifier
9. 15 November 1995 Theodoros Vardinogiannis Stadium, Heraklion, Greece  Faroe Islands 5–0 Win UEFA Euro 1996 qualifier
10. 19 August 1997 Theodoros Vardinogiannis Stadium, Heraklion, Greece  Cyprus 2–1 Win Friendly
11. 6 September 1997 Bežigrad Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia  Slovenia 0–3 Win 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier
12. 6 September 1998 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece  Slovenia 2–2 Draw UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier
13. 14 October 1998 Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece  Georgia 3–0 Win UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier
14. 5 June 1999 Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia  Georgia 1–2 Win UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier
15. 13 November 1999 National Stadium, Kilkis, Greece  Nigeria 2–0 Win Friendly
16. 13 November 1999 National Stadium, Kilkis, Greece  Nigeria 2–0 Win Friendly
17. 2 June 2001 Theodoros Vardinogiannis Stadium, Heraklion, Greece  Albania 1–0 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier
18. 10 November 2001 Nikos Goumas Stadium, Athens, Greece  Estonia 4–2 Win Friendly
Correct as of 1 December 2014[7]






Vitesse Arnhem


  1. ^ Kolokotsios, Lambros (27 September 2010). Αθλητικοί Φάκελοι (ΜΑΧΛΑΣ) [Sporting Capsules (Machlas)] (in Greek). Evrytania News. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Ajax split with Machlas". 31 July 2003.
  3. ^ "Machlas and Ajax part company".
  4. ^ "Twente linked with Machlas".
  5. ^ "Machlas back in Greece". 1 August 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Αντίο" στα γήπεδα είπε ο Μαχλάς (in Greek). 18 May 2008. Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  7. ^ Football PLAYER: Nikolaos "Nikos" Mahlas
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Demis Nikolaidis
Greece captain
Succeeded by
Marinos Ouzounidis