Stefanos Athanasiadis

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Stefanos "Klaus" Athanasiadis
Stefanos klaus athanasiasdis club captain of paok fc.jpg
Klaus in 2015
Personal information
Full name Stefanos "Klaus" Athanasiadis
Date of birth (1988-12-24) 24 December 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Lakoma, Greece
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
PAOK FC
Number 33
Youth career
1996–2007 PAOK
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007– PAOK FC 158 (57)
2009–2010 Panserraikos (loan) 23 (5)
National team
2008–2010 Greece U21 6 (1)
2011– Greece national football team 11 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 May 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 March 2015

Stefanos "Klaus" Athanasiadis (Greek: Στέφανος "Κλάους" Αθανασιάδης; born 24 December 1988) is a Greek professional footballer who plays for PAOK and the Greek national team as a striker.

Early life[edit]

Athanasiadis was born in the village of Lakoma, Chalkidiki to a footballing family. Both his father and uncle were footballers. He spent a season with the local team before moving to Thessaloniki.

In 1996, Athanasiadis joined PAOK's junior academy, initially playing as a central midfielder. His first chance to show his talent came two years later. Aged 10 in the summer of 1998, after participating with the PAOK squad in a youth tournament held in Trieste, Italy, he was approached by the local club and agreed to join their junior team. His stay at Trieste was short-lived, however, as both he and his family could not adapt to their new life. After only a month in Italy, he left for Berlin and his relatives, and joined Hertha's youth squad. Yet after another month in Germany, he left Hertha as well, to return to his native Greece and Thessaloniki.[1][2]

His ties to Germany earned him the nickname "Klaus", which is also the name on his jersey.[3]

Club career[edit]

Athanasiadis returned to the junior squad in PAOK in August 1998 and worked his way through the ranks of the academy, showing his scoring abilities and talent with the ball, with the help of junior coach Kostas Malioufas, who established him as a striker. He moved to the Reserve Team in 2004. His hard work under coach Kyriakos Alexandridis was praised in the 2006–2007 season when he became top scorer with 24 goals, with PAOK dominating the Reserve League. His performances earned him a professional contract for three years.

He debuted with the first team on 24 February 2007 in a home match against Larissa, coming in as a substitute, with PAOK losing the match 1–3. Coincidentally, his first game as a starter for PAOK was again against Larissa at the last game of the 2007–2008 season where he scored 2 magnificent goals in the first half, with Larissa defeating PAOK again by 4–3. He also renewed his contract in 2008 for a further 5 years. He was working hard to find a place in the starting eleven, yet was overshadowed by more experienced players like Zlatan Muslimović and Lambros Choutos and was mostly used as a late substitute by Fernando Santos. On 29 November 2008 against Thrasyvoulos, Athanasiadis came off the bench in the 89th minute and went on to score the winning goal four minutes later, to win the match 1–2.[4]

In 2009 he was loaned at Panserraikos as new strikers arrived at PAOK and he was not a part of Santos' plans. He needed to gain experience as a hot prospect for the future. He got 22 caps in the Football League scoring 5 goals. He scored a goal in the Greek Cup victory 3–1 over Olympiacos.

In 2010–11 season he returned to PAOK. He got 4 European caps mainly as a substitute. He scored his first goal of the season at the first game played in the newly built AEL FC Arena as a substitute, giving PAOK a 1–2 victory over Larissa. On 4 August 2011 he scored his first European goal with PAOK in the game with Vålerenga in a 3–0 Europa League victory. On 18 August he scored again, this time against Karpaty Lviv. On 30 November he scored against Tottenham Hotspur, with the second goal for PAOK in a surprise 2–1 victory at White Hart Lane in the Europa League, when he met a low cross from Giorgios Georgiadis.[5]

In 2012–13 season he scored goals in matches against fierce rivals Aris and AEK while also scoring the equalizer in a 1–1 home draw against Olympiacos. Athanasiadis scored his first hat-trick against Kallithea on 24 January 2013 in a 6–0 win. After the departure of Pablo Garcia he was named vice-captain of the club behind Dimitris Salpingidis, wearing the captain's armbrand on many occasions. On 17 April 2013 he went on to give an assist and score a goal against Asteras Tripoli in the first leg of the Greek Cup semi-finals.

He entered the 2013–14 season by scoring in a 3–0 home win against Skoda Xanthi.[6]

On 12 September 2014, Athanassiadis renew his contract with PAOK till the summer of 2018. Klaus will now have a hegemonic contract, one of the two largest in the roster, the annual salary to more than tripled, and the €180,000 who had to take it gets more than €700,000 per year! Klaus stated : "I'm happy because I closed an issue that had taken great extent. With my signature I think not only me but the entire family of PAOK are happy", and continued: "I want to thank some people who helped make this happened. The major shareholder Mr. Savvidis,the technical director Zisis Vryzas and the president of the club."[7]

On 18 September 2014, he scored an 18-minute hat-trick in a 6–1 home win against Dinamo Minsk in the Europa League group stage.[8] He added another two against the same opposition away on 27 November, scoring late goals in the 82nd and 88th minutes to win the game for PAOK.[9] On 11 December he scored a penalty to equalise in a home group game against Guingamp for his sixth of the tournament, but the French team won 2–1 and advanced at PAOK's expense.[10]

On 4 July 2015, during a friendly game in the training period, has suffered an overwhelmingly intra-articular fracture of the first toe of the right foot, that will cause him according to the officials' reports an absence of approximately 4 to 6 weeks.[11]

International career[edit]

On 8 June 2011 Athanasiadis made his debut for the Greek national football team in a friendly 1–1 draw against Ecuador.

Club statistics[edit]

Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
PAOK 2006–07 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2007–08 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 0
2008–09 10 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 14 2 0
Total 15 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 19 4 0
Panserraikos 2009–10 23 5 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 26 6 2
Total 23 5 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 26 6 2
PAOK 2010–11 21 6 2 2 1 0 5 0 1 28 7 3
2011–12 31 12 3 3 1 0 11 4 1 45 17 4
2012–13 32 14 4 6 5 1 4 4 2 42 23 7
2013–14 29 10 5 6 5 1 12 2 1 47 17 7
2014–15 28 11 2 3 0 0 8 7 2 39 18 4
PAOK Total 156 57 16 24 12 2 40 17 7 220 86 25
Career total 179 62 18 27 13 2 40 17 7 246 92 27

As of match played 26 April 2015

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Στέφανος Αθανασιάδης". paokfc.gr. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Στέφανος Κλάους Αθανασιάδης: Ένα αστέρι γεννιέται...". contra.gr. 21 April 2008. 
  3. ^ "Στέφανος Κλάους Αθανασιάδης: Ένα αστέρι γεννιέται...". contra.gr. 21 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Stats Centre: Stefanos Athanasiadis Facts". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  5. ^ "Τότεναμ - ΠΑΟΚ 1-2". sport24.gr. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "ΠΑΟΚ - Skoda Ξάνθη 3-0". sport24.gr. 17 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "12/09/14, 21:54: Είναι αλήθεια, ανανέωσε ο Kλάους". typosthes.gr. 13 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Ruthless PAOK dismantle Dinamo Minsk". UEFA. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "PAOK leave it late against Dinamo Minsk". UEFA. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Guingamp progress at PAOK's expense". UEFA. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Εκτός 4-6 εβδομάδες ο Κλάους!". sdna.gr. 4 July 2015. 

External links[edit]