Papastathopoulos with Borussia Dortmund
|Full name||Sokratis Papastathopoulos|
|Date of birth||9 June 1988|
|Place of birth||Kalamata, Greece|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2006||→ Niki Volos (loan)||11||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Werder Bremen (loan)||30||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:39, 20 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:41, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
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 is too long to print on the back of most shirts, the name Sokratis is usually displayed and is the singular name that he is best known by in the football world.
Papastathopoulos joined AEK Athens from Apollon Petalidiou after being scouted by Toni Savevski. On 26 October 2005, he made his debut for AEK in a Greek Cup match against PAS Giannina, scoring in the seventh minute of the game to help lead AEK 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 six group games. In these three games, AEK 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 in the 2007–08 Champions League campaign, and in a Superleague match, he became AEK's youngest-ever captain, at age 19, in a game against local Athens rivals Panathinaikos in 2008.
He made his debut for Genoa on 27 September 2008 against Fiorentina, followed by a start against Ravenna 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 favourite.
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 his registration rights, valued at €3.75 million), Nnamdi Oduamadi (half of his rights, valued at €3.5 million) and Rodney Strasser (half of his rights, valued at €2.25 million) in a co-ownership deal, plus €4.5 million in funds. Papastathopoulos was the club's first arrival under new manager Massimiliano Allegri.
On 24 May 2011, Milan and Genoa executives Adriano Galliani and Enrico Preziosi, respectively, formed a verbal agreement to solve the player 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.
On 21 July 2011, Papastathopoulos moved to German club Werder Bremen on a loan deal until the end of the 2011–12 season, with the option to purchase outright. Following impressive performances on loan, on 16 April 2012, it was announced that Papastathopoulos would join Bremen on a permanent basis for a €5 million transfer fee. The 2012–13 season, however, was not a good one for the club. On March 2013, in the midst of a relegation battle and with tensions high, Papastathopoulos engaged in a training ground brawl with teammate Marko Arnautović. Bremen would ultimately finish the year in 14th, staving-off relegation.
On 24 May 2013, the eve of the 2013 Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Papastathopoulos completed a €9.5 million transfer to Dortmund, agreeing to a five-year contract through to 2018. Upon signing, he spoke about the deal, 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 centre back Felipe Santana departing Dortmund for Schalke 04, Papastathopoulos began as the effective third-choice behind tandem Neven Subotić and Mats Hummels. Borussia Dortmund Sporting Director Michael Zorc expressed his satisfaction with the deal: "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."
On 10 July 2013, Papastathopoulos made his debut for Dortmund in a pre-season friendly away to Swiss club Basel at St. Jakob-Park, along with fellow BVB debutants Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. On 27 July, he won his first title with the club after entering the match as a substitute in a 4–2 win over Bayern Munich for the 2013 DFL-Supercup. On 1 November 2013, he scored his first goal for Dortmund in a 6–1 win over VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Papastathopoulos' strong first year with Dortmund was rewarded with his selection to the best XI of the 2013–14 Bundesliga campaign. The selection was organized in a worldwide fan vote by the governing body of the Bundesliga through its official website. The description of his play following his nomination was, "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."
In November 2014, Papastathopoulos was ruled out of action for two weeks with a broken fibula. He suffered the injury to his right leg in Dortmund's 1–0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach, a result that ended a five-match Bundesliga losing streak for the club. After recovering early, he was deemed fit for BVB's Champions League match against Arsenal on 26 November. On 3 January 2015, football news website Goal.com assessed statistics to determine which players maintained the highest tackle success rate in the first half of the 2014–15 season across Europe's top five leagues; Papastathopoulos finished joint-third, alongside Hamburger SV's Matthias Ostrzolek, having won 92.59 percent of all tackles.
In the summer of 2015, Papastathopoulos was linked with moves to various English Premier League clubs as Dortmund prepared for a new start following long-time manager Jürgen Klopp's departure. Dortmund Sporting Director Michael Zorc, however, said Papastathopoulos would still have a part to play for BVB in new manager Thomas Tuchel's debut season with the club. On 26 October 2015, Papastathopoulos extended his contract with Borussia Dortmund until 2019.
After the extension, Zorc said, "We are very pleased that we have been able to sign with Sokratis, another top performer, on a long term." Perhaps the most notable thing in defence since Tuchel took charge, was the promotion of Sokratis Papastathopoulos to be partner-in-chief to Mats Hummels over Neven Subotic is one that could perhaps go on to define the difference between Klopp and Tuchel's reigns at the club. Of course, we can't know for sure which central defender Tuchel truly admires until the Serbian international returns from injury and is fully fit, but it seems as though Sokratis' star may be favoured due to his ability to play the ball on the ground.
On 19 December 2015, Papastathopoulos scored his first goal in the 2015–16 Bundesliga in an eventual 2–1 away loss to 1. FC Köln, giving his club the lead in the first-half from a header form a corner. On 30 January 2016, in a league game against Ingolstadt 04, Papastathopoulos reached his 100th Bundesliga appearance with Dortmund. On 22 February 2016, Papastathopoulos missed the second leg of the UEFA Europa League round-of-32 tie against FC Porto and the Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich due to an adductor injury, as tests confirmed that the 27-year-old would be out for up to three weeks. The Greek centre-back picked up the injury during Dortmund’s 1-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen and was replaced 13 minutes from time at the BayArena. On 21 May 2016, Papastathopoulos featured in his third DFB-Pokal in a row, putting in a tremendous performance despite a missed penalty, but he did not succeed in winning the DFB-Pokal for first time in his career.
He started the 2016-17 season as the undisputed leader in BVB defence. On 15 September 2016, he netted the second goal in an away crashing 6-0 against Legia Warsaw on a Group Champions League match. On January 4, 2017 the German magazine “Kicker” listed the Greek international as one of the best players in the German Bundesliga. The magazine paid a tribute to the best players currently playing in the German Bundesliga, separating them out into different categories. In the first category (World Class) no defenders were listed, however Sokratis Papastathopoulos was one of three defenders listed in the second category, International Class. The other two defenders included Mats Hummels of Bayern Munich and Jonathan Tah of Bayer Leverkusen.
On 8 February 2017, in a DFB Pokal home win on penalties' game against Hertha Berlin, Sokratis' two quickfire (in a minute) bookings for dissent saw Dortmund finish extra time with 10 men before Fabian Lustenberger, Vladimir Darida and Salomon Kalou all erred from the spot, rendering Christian Pulisic's miss irrelevant. On 25 February 2017, Dortmund made three changes from last weekend's 3-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg and it was two of those, Sokratis and Raphael Guerreiro, who combined to open the scoring in the 13th minute in a 3-0 away win against SC Freiburg. Sokratis looked to be offside as Guerreiro swung in a free-kick from the right, which the Greece defender met with a header planted inside the right-hand post. On 16 April 2017, Papastathopoulos was the one who had a quick reaction to a Eintracht Frankfurt equalizing, by scoring a goal after Sven Bender's assist giving a lead to the score in his team in a final 3-1 home win. On 26 April 2017, helped Borussia Dortmund to a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich and their fourth consecutive DFB-Pokal final. On 20 May 2017 Sokratis reached 100 appearances with the jersey of Dortmund in Bundesliga in a home game against SV Werder Bremen, secured automatic qualification to the group stage of next season's UEFA Champions League. On 27 May 2017, in his fourth DFB-Pokal in a row, Borussia Dortmund claimed a first DFB-Pokal win since 2012 as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's penalty defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.  
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 referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.
In June 2014, Papastathopoulos was named to 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 27 May 2017.
- As of 25 March 2017.
- 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|
- Borussia Dortmund
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