Stelios Manolas

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Stelios Manolas
Personal information
Full name Stylianos Manolas
Date of birth (1961-07-13) 13 July 1961 (age 55)
Place of birth Naxos, Greece
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre Back
Club information
Current team
AEK Athens (Coach)
Youth career
1974–1978 AEK Athens
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–2000 AEK Athens 447 (34)
National team
1982–1995 Greece 71 (6)
Teams managed
2004 Greece U-21
2012–2013 Niki Volos
2014– AEK Athens U20
2015 AEK Athens (Interim)
2016 AEK Athens (Interim)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.


Stylianos "Stelios" Manolas (Greek: Στέλιος Μανωλάς) (born 13 July 1961) is a Greek former football player and manager. Arguably the best Greek defender of his era, he was capped 71 times by Greece, as well as being one of only a few Greek footballers to have played his entire professional career for a single club - AEK Athens FC.

Stelios is the uncle of Roma and Greek national team defender Kostas Manolas. His son, Konstantinos, plays as a defender for AEK Athens FC.

Career[edit]

Stelios Manolas was born on the island of Naxos in 1961. He was exposed to football from a young age, playing on the streets and vacant lots in and around the Athens suburb of Galatsi, where he lived during his childhood. In his early teens he, including his friend Kostas Antoniou, played for a small amateur club, Aeoto Galatsiou (Eagle of Galatsi), where he was discovered by scouts and brought to the attention of AEK Athens FC. At the age of fifteen, he was playing for the AEK Youth Academy teams. Over time, he was noticed not only for his technical skill, but for his intelligence, and tactical nous. In January 1980, he signed his first professional contract with the club.

As a young player, owing to his solid technical training, his dynamism and perception, as well as a winning spirit, he was able to offer both in the team's defense and attack. He was the mastermind of the defense and at the same time the one who influenced the whole team more than any other person, boosting the confidence of his teammates. He was a stopper and a libero, although he was first recognised as a right-back, a position assigned to him Miltos Papapostolou.

He made his debut in a match against Kastoria (1-1) on 3 February 1978 and became a mainstay in the AEK defensive until his retirement. Stelios Manolas' last match was against Skoda Xanthi, a match that earned him his 700th cap. He was AEK Athens FC's captain for 19 years. Manolas had been targeted by Porto and Monaco but he stated: I will never leave the club I love and I want to retire at AEK Athens.

His top moment among thousands of others in his career was when he used his head to block a shot by Lajos Détári in front of AEK's goal line in the crucial game against Olympiacos in OAKA, ending with AEK winning the Championship title in 1989.

Stelios Manolas ended his career having played 447 matches in the 1st Division, ranking second in terms of appearances behind Mimis Papaioannou and twelfth in the history of the respective division, achieving a total of 34 goals in Championship matches. He won the Championship title with AEK four times (1989, 1992, 1993, and 1994) and the Greek Cup title three times (1983, 1996, and 1997), and also participated in the team which won two Super Cup titles (1989 and 1996) and one League Cup title (1990). Overall, he played for the National Team in 71 matches from 1982 to 1994 and scored 6 goals He was also a member of the National Team when it made its first appearance in the World Cup in 1994 in the US.

During his glorious career, Manolas often attracted the interest of Greek and international clubs, but chose never to change his shirt. After his retirement, he became a certified coach and worked for many clubs, as well as for the Greek National Under-21 Team. For some time (2008-09), he held the post of technical director in AEK. Later, he remained as the coach of AEK's U-20 team. After that, he was called from AEK as a temporary coach to replace Traianos Dellas, and was then called again at the same post to replace Gustavo Poyet.

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

AEK Athens 1988-89, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94

Manager[edit]

AEK Athens

External links[edit]