Cypriot Football Legend Constantinos Charalambides Retires
One of the best Cypriot footballers of the modern era, Constantinos Charalambides, announced on Saturday his decision to retire from football, after his contract with AEK Larnakas was terminated. Charalambides debuted in 1998 with APOEL, spending most of his career with the Nicosia giants.
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Charalambides began his career at APOEL where he remained from 1997-2004 before moving to Greece for Panathinaikos from 2004-2007. During that time he enjoyed a one year loan spell at PAOK in 2006. He also played in Germany for Carl Zeiss Jena before returning home to APOEL in 2008.
His second spell with APOEL was extremely successful, with a total of 18 titles, 6 appearances in European competition group stages, and was part of APOEL’s unforgettable run to the quarter-finals of the 2012 UEFA Champions League. APOEL did not renew his contract at the end of the 2016 season and Charalambides stayed in Cyprus for AEK Larnakas.
At the beginning of the current season, he was considered a reserve at AEK Larnakas and after participating in parties hosted by APOEL’s president, AEK Larnaka terminated his contract.
Charalambides made 94 appearances with the Cypriot national team, second only to Giannis Okkas with 106 international caps. As a true gentleman and captain both on and off the pitch for APOEL and Cyprus, he inspired dozens of young kids to follow his footsteps and chase their dreams of becoming professional football players. He was adored by APOEL fans and was respected by all his opponents throughout his remarkable career.
Charalambides released a statement announcing his retirement while looking back at his memorable career. The full statement can be seen here.
“...If I could turn back time, in 1989, I would definitely chose to become a footballer once again. When Ι first set foot in APOEL’s training facilities at the age of 8, I could not have imagined that today I would be able to see all my childhood dreams and aspirations come true.
...I was given the opportunity to join Panathinaikos F.C. and fulfilling my dream of playing for a top Greek club. After playing there for two amazing years, I was given the opportunity to continue my career with a short period at PAOK Thessaloniki, Carl Zeiss Jena in Germany, and of course the last stop of my career at AEK Larnakas.
...Undoubtedly, the highlight of my career was the 2011/12 season, the epic run in the Champions League, a magical moment for all involved, when APOEL was ranked amongst the best eight teams in Europe.
...Another proud achievement in my football career was participating with the National team of Cyprus, in which I was honoured with 94 caps. Certainly, there is no greater recognition for a football player than wearing the jersey of his national team and representing his country with pride and respect.
...Throughout my career as a professional football player, I have been taught not only how to play football but also the real value of sports and fair play. I have been taught discipline, respect for oneself and sports, as well as how to be a real athlete.
…Ιt would be ignorant of me if I did not specifically thank the team which made me a household name on the pitch, its fans who supported me all through these years, the team which gave me the opportunity to be what I am today, APOEL Nicosia. A sincere thank you to you all!
Every beginning has an end and every end is a new beginning!”