18 Greek talents for the future
With 2018 about to enter its third month, AGONAsport takes a look at Greece’s top 18 talents born in 2001.
Despite the senior national team’s recent struggles on the international stage, the country does possess plenty of prospects who are coming through the ranks at their respective clubs and own the potential to become international stars. Two of the selected 18, Giannis Sourdis and Ilias Koutsoupias, are already enjoying themselves abroad in leading footballing countries.
These players boast the raw talent to offer Greek football a bright, successful future. Let’s get to know the gifted 18 a little bit closer.
Christos Mandas (Atromitos Athens, 17/09/2001)
The young goalkeeper is only 16 years of age, but he has already made his senior Atromitos debut when playing in a Greek Cup fixture against Sparta in November 2017 (a 4:0 victory). Standing at 185 cm tall, Mandas is solid between the sticks and recent conversations suggest that top European clubs are displaying interest in him.
Giannis Sourdis (Watford, 29/09/2001)
Another goaltender, Sourdis is making an impression in England. After starting his career in the Panathinaikos academy, the 16-year old was gifted a trial by Watford and he caught the eye, especially with his physical attributes. An international with the junior Greek national teams, he is expected to sign a professional contract with Watford in the coming months.
Georgios Vagiannidis (Panathinaikos, 12/09/2001)
Currently on the books of the Panathinaikos academy and is showing real potential. Vagiannidis, a right-back by trade, is a key member of the under 17 Greek national team. Under contract at Panathinaikos until 2020, Vagiannidis is effective in both defence and attack. Reports have emerged stating that Porto are thinking about making a bid for the defender. However, he did sign a professional contract with Panathinaikos three months ago.
Dimitris Karagiannis (Panathinaikos, 27/02/2001)
Panathinaikos may be going through tough times right now, but the Prasini are gifted with seriously talented prospects. Centre-back Karagiannis possesses excellent technical skills, able to control the ball on the ground with real finesse. Teams from Belgium and the Netherlands are carefully watching his development.
Konstantinos Thymianis (Xanthi, 28/02/2001)
Playing with Xanthi, defender Thymianis is certain to eventually be snapped up by a supposed bigger club in the future. Sporting Lisbon were close to securing his signature in September 2017, but the deal fell through. Thymianis often trains with Xanthi’s main team as he awaits his professional debut. Regularly plays for the under 17 Greek national team.
Apostolos-Ilias Martinis (Olympiacos, 08/01/2001)
Olympiacos prospect Martinis plays at the left-back position, joining the Thrylos back in 2009 and signing a professional contract in last September. Scouts put Martinis down as a capable defender who can offer real threat on the wing when joining the attack.
Pavlos Mavroudis (Panathinaikos, 12/01/2001)
Competing as a defensive midfielder, the 17-year old Mavroudis is brilliant at breaking up potentially dangerous attacks and can make clever forward passes. He’s fast on the pitch too, using his intelligent footballing brain to think a step ahead of his opponents. Mavroudis spent a large amount of his youth career at Munchen-1860 in Germany, later joining Panathinaikos in 2010 and signing a professional contract with the Athenians three months ago.
Sotiris Polykarpos Alexandropoulos (Panathinaikos, 26/11/2001)
Back in 2012, the promising midfielder decided to sign with the Panathinaikos academy, going on to transform into a universal player. His official position is a midfielder, but Alexandropoulos has played as an attacker and a right-back for the under 20 Panathinaikos team. A leader of the U17 Panathinaikos side, Alexandropoulos earned compliments from Italian club Sampdoria. Is also the proud owner of a professional contract.
Kimon Koreas (PAOK, 17/07/2001)
The striker is among the most important players for PAOK’s under 17 team in Greece, boasting the skills which enable him to beat defenders with flashy moves and keep control of possession when holding the ball. PAOK are rumoured to be preparing a professional deal for the 16-year old Koreas.
Nikos Masouras (Panachaiki, 15/06/2001)
If you’re only 16 years old but are given the opportunity to play against Panathinaikos in the Greek Cup, you must be good. Attacking midfielder Masouras moved to Panachaiki last summer, making appearances in the Football League. Masouras had a trial at Gent in the past, but he was let go after failing to compete with players older than him. Possessing lightning pace, Masouras is coming into his own in Greece.
Panagiotis Tzimas (Asteras Tripolis, 12/03/2001)
Although registered as a midfielder, the 16-year old Tzimas has played in defence and can also push himself further forward when required. Having a decent eye for goal, Tzimas is technically gifted, controls the midfield and probes for spaces behind the opposing defence. Is able to play with both of his feet which gives him a big advantage over other players in his position.
Georgios Vrakas (PAOK, 28/04/2001)
In 2014, Vrakas made the move to PAOK from Giannina, making his professional debut for the Dikefalos in this year’s Greek Cup in a fixture against Aiginiakos. Highly thought of in Thessaloniki, the midfielder had the chance to develop his career in England two years ago but decided to stay with PAOK. He’s only young, but Vrakas has true leadership qualities on the pitch and is physically strong.
Giorgos Fekkas (Olympiacos, 25/04/2001)
Midfielder Fekkas is hugely popular among the club’s leadership in Piraeus, earning a professional contract for himself. After signing for Olympiacos in 2012 when eleven years of age, Fekkas has gone from strength to strength, playing with the under 17 Greek national team and promoting himself to foreign clubs. Football experts in Greece think that Fekkas could move abroad in the next couple of years.
Andreas Athanasakopoulos (Panathinaikos, 27/11/2001)
Born in Patras, Athanasakopoulos joined Panathinaikos after having trails with Olympiacos and PAOK. A technical midfielder, the 16-year old is already a leader in the centre of the park and Panathinaikos fans are beginning to get excited about the new talent on their hands.
Nikolaos Gotzamanidis (Olympiacos, 25/01/2001)
Gotzamanidis began his Olympiacos journey three years ago, winning the U15 Super League championship in 2016 and the U17 division in 2017. The central defender is a reliable figure in the back line, heading the ball with excellence. Very rarely ever puts a foot wrong.
Emmanouil Arvanitis (AEK Athens, 03/03/2001)
A player capable of taking responsibility at the most crucial moments in matches, centre-back Arvanitis is a leading defender for the under 17 AEK Athens team. Stands up for his teammates and is now progressing to the junior Greek national sides.
Georgios Gogos (PAS Giannina, 11/07/2001)
Many in Ioannina tip Gogos to turn into the next Konstantinos Mavropanos, a centre-back who became an Arsenal player in January 2018. Gogos is also a defender, but he controls the ball with class and gives opposing forwards a run for their money. Has been offered a professional contract by current club PAS Giannina.
Ilias Koutsoupias (Entella, 10/05/2001)
One of the two Greeks on the list who plays abroad. Koutsoupias, a centre midfielder, spent time with Platanias and OFI Crete in Greece before moving to Italy’s Entella. Runs the game in midfield and has a fantastic career coming in Europe. He hasn’t yet been called to the junior national teams, but that will probably change in the near future.