Olympiacos legend Polychroniou dies at the age of 81
Tragedy struck Greek football on Friday, as legendary Olympiacos midfielder Kostas Polychroniou passed away at the age of 81.
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Polychroniou, who was born in Platanistos on November 12, 1936 joined Olympiacos at the age of 17, going on to spend his entire playing career with the Thrylos. A midfielder famed for his dynamic abilities, Polychroniou became an Olympiacos legend, making an impressive 305 league appearances for the Piraeus club, scoring 13 goals along the way. In 14 years with Olympiacos, Polychroniou won six Greek championships and eight Greek Cups, also competing in 27 matches for the national team. His debut with the Ethniki Omada came against Yugoslavia (0:0) on May 5, 1957 in the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
One of Polychroniou’s most famous matches for Olympiacos was in a friendly against Santos in Athens, when the midfielder put on a superb performance to help his team win 2:1 by keeping Pele quiet throughout the game.
Following the completion of his playing days, Polychroniou turned his hand to coaching, notably managing the Greek national team between 1994 and 1998, winning 17 matches, drawing six and losing 11 games while gaining a goal difference of +24 (56-32).
Sadly, after suffering with a long illness, Polychroniou lost his life on the morning of June 1 in hospital. His funeral is due to take place on Monday.
In connection with his death, the Super League organisation, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK all shared their condolences:
“The Super League’s board of directors and entire organisation extend their condolences and sympathy to the family of Kostas Polychroniou, who sadly passed away today.
Kostas Polychroniou wrote his own brilliant chapter in our football’s history with Olympiacos, alongside playing with and coaching the national team.”
“The Olympiacos family mourns the death of the great footballer, Kostas Polychroniou. The red and white flags are with you!
Kostas Polychroniou honoured our colours between 1953 and 1968, playing in 352 matches with our club and scoring 55 goals.”
“The Panathinaikos board of directors extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and relatives of Kostas Polychroniou who died today, making Greek football poorer as a result.”
“The AEK family expresses its sorrow for the death of Kostas Polychroniou. He was one of the leading figures of Greek football, contributing as a player and coach. We extend our warm condolences to his family and friends.”