Papastathopoulos with Borussia Dortmund in 2014
|Full name||Sokratis Papastathopoulos|
|Date of birth||9 June 1988|
|Place of birth||Kalamata, Greece|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back / Right back|
|2006||→ Niki Volos (loan)||11||(0)|
|2010–2011||→ Milan (loan)||5||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Werder Bremen (loan)||30||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 May 2015.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greek: Σωκράτης Παπασταθόπουλος, pronounced [soˈkratis papastaˈθopulos]; born 9 June 1988) is a Greek footballer who plays as a centre back for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Greek national team. Since the surname Papastathopoulos cannot fit on his club shirt, his first name Sokratis is usually displayed instead; however, a common nickname for him is Papa.
Papastathopoulos joined AEK Athens from Apollon Petalidiou after being scouted by Toni Savevski. On 26 October 2005, he made his debut for AEK Athens in a Greek Cup match against PAS Giannina scoring in the 7th minute of the game leading AEK Athens to a 3–0 win.
Niki Volou loan
In January 2006, he was loaned to Greek Second Division club Niki Volou for six months in order to gain first team football and gather valuable experience. He made a total of 15 appearances for Niki Volou.
AEK Athens return
During the 2006-07 Superleague Greece, Papastathopoulos managed to make 14 appearances whilst competing against the likes of Bruno Cirillo, Traianos Dellas and Vangelis Moras. In AEK Athens' 2006–07 UEFA Champions League campaign, Papastathopoulos managed to play in three out of the six group games. In these three games AEK Athens managed one win (the famous 1–0 victory over Milan, where he man-marked Filippo Inzaghi), one draw (the 2–2 away draw with Anderlecht) and one loss (the 3–1 away defeat to Lille). During the 2007–08 Superleague Greece, he was a mainstay in AEK's defence, keeping out competition from Geraldo Alves. He also played through the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League campaigna and in a Super-League match becoming the side's youngest ever captain, aged 19, in a game against great local rivals Panathinaikos in 2008.
He made his debut for Genoa on 27 September 2008 against Fiorentina, followed by a start against Ravenna Calcio in the Coppa Italia a few days later. His first goal for Genoa came on 5 October 2008 at home against Napoli. Genoa won the game 3–2, but Papastathopoulos was sent off in the 89th minute During the 2009–10 season, he managed to play in most games and became somewhat of a fan favorite.
On 20 July 2010, it was confirmed on Milan's website that Papastathopoulos had joined the team, after Genoa and Milan reached an agreement to transfer Papastathopoulos to the club for €14 million, with the following payment schedule: Gianmarco Zigoni (half of registration rights valued €3.75M), Nnamdi Oduamadi (half rights valued €3.5M) and Rodney Strasser (half rights €2.25M) in co-ownership deal, plus €4.5 million cash. Papastathopoulos is the first arrival since former Cagliari Calcio boss Massimiliano Allegri's appointment as Milan coach.
On 24 May 2011, Adriano Galliani and Enrico Preziosi formed a verbal agreement to solve the players ownerships (subject to player agreements) of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alberto Paloschi, Marco Amelia and Giacomo Beretta. The deal entailed that Milan bought back Gianmarco Zigoni, Rodney Strasser and Nnamdi Oduamadi (all under original price), while Genoa bought back Papastathopoulos for €13 million, which effectively made the de facto loan cost for Milan €1 million.
The Greek international leaves Genoa on a one-year loan with Bremen having the option to purchase the defender outright. An agreement was long in the making, but financial trouble at the German club stalled negotiations before a deal was finally struck. "He's a young player and has already gained some experience at Genoa and in the Greek national team," Bremen sporting director Klaus Allofs said. "When we heard that he was not being used at AC Milan, we immediately expressed interest. With his pace, his strength, and tackling, he will certainly help us." It was a complex deal that involved eight players, Genoa bought back Sokratis in May, only to pass him on to Bremen. "After initial discussions with Klaus Allofs and Thomas Schaaf, it was immediately clear to me that I would accept the offer from Werder. Now I will integrate into the team and help as soon as possible," the 23-year-old said. Capable of playing both in the centre and on the right of the back four, Papastathopoulos will provide much-needed cover for Bremen's defence. Currently, defenders Naldo, Per Mertesacker, Sebastian Prodl, Sebastian Boenisch, and Mikael Silvestre are sidelined with injuries.
Following good performances, it was decided on 16 April 2012 that Papastathopoulos would join Werder Bremen on a permanent basis, for €5 million. The 2012/13 season was not good for the club as tried to avoid relegation. Dealing with pressure is a vital part of any relegation battle and, judging by events took place on March 2013, Werder Bremen are not coping well after Sokratis had a petulant training ground brawl with his teammate ex-Inter star Marko Arnautovic. It was a sole incident in the career of Sokratis so far.
On 24 May 2013, the eve of the Champions League final featuring Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Sokratis completed a transfer to Borussia Dortmund until 2018. Borussia Dortmund signed Sokratis for a reported €9.5 million  on a 5-year deal worth €2 million per season. Papastathopoulos spoke about his transfer saying "Money did not play a role in my decision to join Dortmund. My own future was all that mattered and I am convinced that I made the right decision." With Felipe Santana leaving for Schalke, BVB were in need of a third centerback behind Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels. Strangely, BVB have decided to pay a large sum for the Greek defender. "I gained a lot from my two years with Werder, but now I feel ready to make the next step." said Papastathopoulos and everyone in the club feels certain that he is ready for the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has revealed that the club "are delighted" to secure the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen. "We are delighted that Sokratis has decided to join Borussia Dortmund. He is a flexible player capable to play in a variety of positions in defence who we believe has tremendous potential," Zorc said in a club statement.
On 10 July 2013, Sokratis made his debut for Dortmund in a pre-season friendly away to FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park, along with his new teammates Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. On 27 July 2013, he won his first title with the club by entering as a substitute in a 4-2 win over Bayern Munich for the DFL-Supercup. On 1 November 2013, Papastathopoulos scored his first goal for Dortmund in a 6-1 win against Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
The very good year he had with Borussia Dortmund, was rewarded with his selection in the top XI of 2013/14 Bundesliga. The choice was organized in a vote by the governing body of the league through the official website. Fans from various countries of the world have chosen therefore the ideal team for this year's German league and amongst them is the 25-year old Greek defender. "The definition of defense falls on him. The Greek stopper took advantage of the opportunities given to him by the absence of Neven Subotić and Mats Hummels. Stable, with leadership characteristics and tendency to win the ball without making easily a mistake" was the description for the Greek defender.
During a fairly mediocre 2014/15 season, Jurgen Klopp’s final game as Borussia Dortmund manager will be the final of the German Cup, as his side secured a dramatic 2-0 penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the DFB-Pokal; the sides were tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes. Extra time was pretty even, with neither side willing to commit too many men forward for fear of losing. But Bayern were handed a major boost, as Kevin Kampl—subbed on for Jakub Blaszczykowski in the 85th minute—picked up his second yellow and was dismissed. Bayern poured forward in the latter stages with a one-man advantage, but were unable to find a may past the indomitable Sokratis at the heart of the Dortmund back line.
According to transfer rumours on June 2015, Arsenal could raid Borussia Dortmund for two of their stars namely Sven Bender and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, with Borussia Dortmund double deal available for £31m. Dortmund are willing to do sanction deals for the pair with new boss Thomas Tuchel starting work on a squad rebuild. Arsenal are keen on central defender Papastathopoulos was a target for Arsene Wenger last summer.
Papastathopoulos was called up for the Greek senior team on 1 February 2008 and made his debut on 5 February 2008 in the 1–0 friendly victory against the Czech Republic. The Greece squad for UEFA Euro 2008 was announced by Otto Rehhagel on 27 May 2008, and Papastathopoulos was the unfortunate player to be cut from the provisional squad of 24 to the final 23-man selection.
Papastathopoulos became the first player to be sent off at UEFA Euro 2012 during the opening game of the tournament against co-hosts Poland, after receiving two yellow cards, following what pundits decried as two poor decisions by the referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.
In June 2014, Papastathopoulos was named in Greece's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He started in each of the team's group matches, helping them to a clean sheet against Japan. In the round of 16, Papastathopoulos scored his first international goal, equalising in second half stoppage time against Costa Rica. However, the Greeks were eventually defeated 5–3 in a penalty shootout by the Central American champions.
- As of 16 May 2015.
- As of 17 June 2015.
- Scores and results list Greece's goal tally first.
|1||29 June 2014||Arena Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil||Costa Rica||1–1||1–1||2014 FIFA World Cup|
|2||13 June 2015||Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||Faroe Islands||1–2||1–2||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier|
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- Ανακοίνωση [Communication]. AEK FC (in Greek). 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 August 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "IL GENOA DA' LEZIONE DI GRECO". Genoa CFC (in Italian). 1 August 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Papastathopoulos opens Genoa account
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- "Papastathopoulos completes Bremen switch". Fox News. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- Genoa CFC SpA Report and Accounts on 31 December 2012 (in Italian). CCIAA Archive.
- "Werder Bremen stars show strain of relegation battle with petulant training ground brawl". metro.co.uk. 29 March 2013.
- "BVB sign "Sokratis"". Borussia Dortmund. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Υπέγραψε στην Ντόρτμουντ ο Σωκράτης!". sport-fm.gr. 23 May 2013.
- Coerts, Stefan (5 June 2013). "Sokratis: I did not join Dortmund for the money". Goal.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Borussia Dortmund sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen". sbnation.com. 28 May 2013.
- "Lewandowski shines as Stuttgart hit for six".
- "Στην καλύτερη 11άδα του Γερμανικού Πρωταθλήματος ο Σωκράτης Παπασταθόπουλος". protothema.gr. 28 April 2014.
- "Team of the season". bundesliga.com. 23 April 2014.
- "Dortmund beat Bayern Munich on penalties to advance to DFB Pokal Final". worldsoccertalk.com. 28 April 2015.
- "Arsenal on RED ALERT with Borussia Dortmund double deal available for £31m". www.dailystar.co.uk. 19 June 2015.
- "Greece Squad call up". UEFA.com.[dead link]
- "Greece's Papastathopoulos drops out". UEFA.com. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Glendenning, Barry (8 June 2012). "Euro 2012: Poland 1–1 Greece – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- "Greece World Cup 2014 squad". The Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Japan 0-0 Greece". BBC. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Costa Rica 1-1 Greece". BBC. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Παπασταθόπουλος Σωκράτης. aek.com (in Greek). Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- Sokratis Papastathopoulos at National-Football-Teams.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sokratis Papastathopoulos.|
- Sokratis Papastathopoulos – FIFA competition record
- Sokratis Papastathopoulos – UEFA competition record
- Bundesliga profile
- ESPN FC profile