Zisis Vryzas

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Zisis Vryzas
Personal information
Date of birth (1973-11-09) 9 November 1973 (age 46)
Place of birth Kavala, Greece
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 Skoda Xanthi 122 (31)
1996–2000 PAOK 118 (19)
2000–2003 Perugia 108 (25)
2003–2005 Fiorentina 20 (4)
2004–2005Celta Vigo (loan) 32 (7)
2005–2006 Torino 11 (2)
2006–2007 Skoda Xanthi 16 (1)
2007–2008 PAOK 13 (0)
Total 440 (89)
National team
1994–2006 Greece 68 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Zisis Vryzas (Greek: Ζήσης Βρύζας; born 9 November 1973) is a former football player. He was born 9 November 1973 in Kavala, city of northern Greece, located in the region of Macedonia (Greece). He played as a striker for various teams in Greece and abroad, as well as the Greek National team, with which he won the Euro 2004. After his retirement, he worked for PAOK as technical director, and for a brief period, took up the position of president, following Theodoros Zagorakis' resignation. On 16 August 2010, Vryzas became the Assistant Coach of Greek national football team.

Club career[edit]

Skoda Xanthi[edit]

Vryzas started his football career at Skoda Xanthi where his talent attracted the interest of stronger domestic as well as foreign Clubs.


In 1996, Vryzas was signed by PAOK FC, where he enjoyed great popularity among PAOK fans for his power, determination and devotion with which they describe his game and for scoring a handful of very important goals. The most significant memory of his career with PAOK FC occurred in the first round second leg of the 1997–98 UEFA Cup. It was the fantastic equaliser (1–1 on the night, 2–1 on aggregate) he scored in the 87th minute against Arsenal at Highbury, which resulted in a notable, historic qualification for PAOK against the English giants who managed to win the double in the Premier League that same season.


In 2000, while PAOK were struggling with endless financial problems due to the ineffective policy of debts and mismanagement of the main share-holder, consequently Vryzas was sold to the Italian Serie A relegation battlers A.C. Perugia. In Perugia, he once again gained popularity among the local fans for his work-rate and immediate adjustment to the new environment, which proved to be a key-factor for Perugia's constant presence in the Serie A, under the management of Serse Cosmi.


His very positive performances with Perugia earned him a more lucrative contract at the once mighty Fiorentina in 2003, at that time struggling in Serie B; ironically, the Viola returned to Serie A at the expense of Perugia, through a two-legged playoff, as they had finished sixth in Serie B that season, while Perugia had finished at 15th place in Serie A.

Loan to Celta Vigo[edit]

In 2004, the Greek striker joined Celta Vigo in a loan deal from Fiorentina with an option for the deal to become permanent.


In January 2006 the Greek striker eventually departed again to join another popular Club of northern Italy, Torino F.C. until the end of his contract.

Return to Skoda Xanthi[edit]

In the summer of 2006, Vryzas returned to Greece and in particular to the club where he started his professional career, Skoda Xanthi.

Return to PAOK[edit]

In June 2007, he finally decided to join the "club of his heart" and signed a two-year contract with PAOK FC. There he found his old companion and team-mate, at both PAOK and the Greek National Team during the 1990s, Theodoros Zagorakis – who had only just taken the reins of the club. Vryzas stated upon his return that PAOK F.C. was an emotional choice for him, and the last stop in his career should only be in the club he loved and supported since childhood. On 6 January 2008, Vryzas played his last game of his successful football career at the home game of PAOK FC against Larissa F.C. at the legendary ground of PAOK FC Toumba Stadium, a game which PAOK won 1–0, with a goal scored by Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, a goal which the scorer dedicated to Vryzas. Vryzas, actually came in as a substitution in the 82nd minute of the game to replace Christodoulopoulos and was honoured by the fans with a standing ovation and with a long singing of his name, which lasted until the end of the game as Vryzas thanked them during his "goodbye round" of the stadium.

International career[edit]

Vryzas debuted for Greece in October 1994 in a home Euro 1996 qualifier against Finland, a 4–0 victory. He scored his first goal three months later, in a friendly against Cyprus in Larnaca, but had to wait until 2004 in Portugal to take part in a final stage of a tournament.

Although not a very prolific scorer, Vryzas' tenacious work ethic, his restless battles with the opposing defenders, his talent to create chances and open spaces for his attacking partners, in addition to his aerial ability and passing skills made him a valuable member of all the Clubs he played for, as well as the Greek National Team with which he won the European Championship in 2004. He was a notable member of the starting eleven in Greece's victorious team and scored a tremendously important goal, a fine chip over the keeper, in Greece's 2–1 loss to Russia. That goal sent the tournament underdogs into the quarter-final, on a better goal average against contenders Spain.

Non-playing career[edit]

On 8 January 2008, Vryzas was officially appointed as the Technical Director of PAOK FC. He joined the club's board along with former team-mate and current chairman of the club, Theodoros Zagorakis. During his first steps in his new career he succeeded in bringing to PAOK Pablo Contreras, Zlatan Muslimović, Vieirinha, Lino and Pablo Garcia in 2008. He succeeded selling Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Christos Melissis to Panathinaikos FC for €4.300.000 and Daniel Fernandes to VfL Bochum for €1.100.000.

On July 2009, he continued and succeeded in bringing to PAOK Mirko Savini, Olivier Sorlin, Lucio Filomeno, Bruno Cirillo, Mohammed Abubakari and Vasilios Koutsianikoulis (a hot prospect of Greek football).

On 9 October 2009, Vryzas was appointed PAOK FC Chairman, following Zagorakis resignation for personal reasons.[1]

On 11 August 2010, Vryzas resigned from the position of director of football from PAOK FC.

Five days later, he became a colleague of Fernando Santos, the head coach of Greek national football team.

On 2012 he returned to PAOK FC as President and from the summer of 2014 he became Technical Director. Zisis Vryzas is a misunderstanding figure in the history of the club. On 2010 PAOK FC were on the verge of economic collapse. There was also the scenario of the collapse of the Association in lower categories, under the weight of debts. With smart moves created a low budget team coached by Giorgos Donis, which could cope economically keeping the prestige of the club up after playing in European competitions, namely the UEFA Europa League. Somewhere in mid summer of 2012, and while he had erected a Greek-Russian namely Ivan Savvides entered the club. What happened was considered as a movement from God, after Savvides had several million euro in his pocket and intended to combine its presence in Greece with sporting activities and in particular with PAOK FC. Nevertheless, Vryzas, managed and made smart moves by bringing all these years from different positions (President, Technical Director) international players who became a major asset for the club.[2]

On February 18, 2015 few days after the heavy defeat from Atromitos F.C., Zisis Vryzas was made available by Ivan Savvides his resignation from the post of technical director of PAOK. However, formal notice to terminate the cooperation did not exist. However, some time ago it became known through information that the club has completed all the nominal procedures for his withdrawal from the Board of Directors. He later joined Veria as technical director.[3][4] [5]

On 7 May 2015, Vryzas has been announced as the new Technical Football Director of Super League club Veria.[6] On 4 July 2016, Vryzas resigned from the position of director of football from Veria.

On 9 December 2016, the Temporary Administrative Committee of Hellenic Football Federation stated that Zisis Vryzas takes all responsibilities of the Directorate of Competition, which, among other things, is also responsible for the organization of the Greek Cup.[7] On 7 November 2018, Vryzas solved his contract with Hellenic Football Federation. [8]

Career statistics[edit]


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
1991–92 Skoda Xanthi Super League 12 3 3 0 0 0
1992–93 33 7 2 0 0 0
1993–94 30 6 4 1 0 0
1994–95 21 3 4 2 0 0 25 5
1995–96 26 12 6 1 0 0 32 13
1996–97 PAOK Super League 31 9 2 0 0 0 33 9
1997–98 30 3 8 4 5 1 43 8
1998–99 33 4 2 0 2 0 37 4
1999-00 24 3 5 1 4 0 33 4
2000–01 0 0 6 1 0 0 6 1
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2000–01 Perugia Serie A 34 9 0 0 0 0 34 9
2001–02 33 8 3 2 0 0 36 10
2002–03 30 5 5 1 2 0 37 6
2003–04 9 3 2 0 9 0 20 3
2003–04 Fiorentina Serie B 20 4 0 0 0 0 20 4
2004–05 Serie A 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0
2005–06 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
2004–05 Celta Vigo Segunda División 32 7 1 0 0 0 33 7
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2005–06 Torino Serie B 11 2 0 0 0 0 11 2
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2006–07 Skoda Xanthi Super League 16 1 3 0 1 0 20 1
2007–08 PAOK 13 0 1 0 0 0 14 0
Total Greece 269 51 46 10 12 1 327 62
Italy 137 31 13 3 11 0 161 34
Spain 32 7 1 0 0 0 33 7
Career total 440 89 60 13 23 1 521 103