Tachtsidis’ path through Italy and return to Greece
Panagiotis Tachtsidis has returned to the Greek Superleague after a 7-year absence, signing with his 10th team in 10 years, Olympiacos.
The 26-year old midfielder has spent the past 7 years in Italy since leaving Greece and AEK back in 2010. Tachtsidis, who can play both as a defensive midfielder and center midfielder, is known for his passing and shooting abilities. Although the young player’s career has had many ups and downs, he has never showed any signs of “giving up.” On the contrary, his career moves have helped him grow as a player, having gone through many loan spells, where he gained more playing time and valuable experience. He now hopes, at Olympiacos, that he will be given the chance to prove himself and his talents.
Tachtsidis is coming off of a full season in the Serie A with Cagliari, counting 26 appearances and 6 assists. The 26-year old has had full seasons in the Serie A for the past 5 years playing for Roma, Catania, Verona, Genoa, and Cagliari. His first two seasons in Italy were in the Serie B with Verona and Cesena.
AGONAsport takes a look at Tachtsidis career which started at AEK, his path in Italy, and his return to Greece.
His days at AEK
Panagiotis Tachtsidis’ potential captured the attention of big clubs from the first steps in his career. Although at the age of 15 Tachtsidis was close to signing with Olympiacos, AEK took advantage of the Peiraiotes’ delay and they signed the youngster. His first contract with the Kitrinomavri was signed on November 1st, 2007 and his debut came in a Greek Cup match against Fostiras. In his Superleague debut with the Enosis, Tachtsidis managed to score the winning goal in the 92nd minute, leaving promises for a bright future.
Despite his good start, Tachtsidis counted just 28 appearances in three years with AEK before leaving for Italy. At the time, rumours spread about his personal life and his demand for an increased salary, however none of the above were ever confirmed. Before leaving the Kitrinomavri, Tachtsidis implied that AEK did not treat him as they should have and he decided to leave the club.
Transfer to Genoa and the beginning of the Italian adventure
On January 2010, Genoa agreed to terms with Tachtsidis and he signed his contract during the summer off season with AEK only earning €200,000 for the young prospect. Despite his abilities, he did not make an appearance with Genoa and was sent on loan in order to gain valuable playing time. His first stop was Cesena. There, Tachtsidis hardly saw any time on the pitch and was then given to Serie B side Grosseto for the second half of the 2011 season. He continued in the Serie B in his second season in Italy, playing for Verona where he made 39 appearances and managed to score 3 goals.
Big step to Roma
While on vacation in July 2012, Tachtsidis’ phone rang with his manager, Giannis Evangelopoulos, telling him to immediately pack his bags for Italy. There, they traveled straight to Roma’s training center and the 21-year old signed for the Giallorossi, as Zeman’s personal choice. While in the Italian capital, Tachtsidis had the chance to play alongside the club’s legends, Totti and De Rossi as both players helped him develop as a player. The youngster had stated “Totti always told me to be myself” and while playing alongside De Rossi in the midfield, Tachtsidis improved as the time went on.
Debut with the Ethniki
His transfer to Roma was more than enough for him to earn a place in the Greek national team. Having played with all of the youth national teams, Fernando Santos gave him his first call up for a friendly match against Northern Ireland in November 2012. Since then, he has been a regular for the Ethniki having played in 19 matches (1 goal), with his most recent appearance against Belgium in World Cup qualifying where he provided the assist for Greece’s only goal scored by Kostas Mitroglou.
Return to Genoa only to leave again and… come back
Having made 21 appearances with 1 goal scored for Roma (2012-2013), Tachtsidis returned to Genoa. The Rossoblu paid €3 million to acquire him from Roma, but again he failed to remain at the club. Catania purchased 50% of the player’s rights, giving €3 million to Genoa for both Tachtsidis and Francesco Lodi. Tachtsidis spent only half the season at Catania before joining Torino during the winter transfer window.
A year later, Tachtsidis returned for a “third” spell at Genoa, however the Italian club yet again sent him out on loan. Tachtsidis returned to Verona, now in the Serie A, where he made 35 appearances with 3 goals before returning to Genoa for the 2015-2016 season. He miraculously made a debut with the side from Genoa (fourth spell) and finished the season counting 25 appearances and 2 goals!
Bought by Torino, Sent to Cagliari
It was more of the same for the midfielder after leaving Genoa. Last summer, Torino decided to purchase Tachtsidis from Genoa for €1.3 million, however Torino sent him on loan to Cagliari on the final day of the summer transfer window. Tachtsidis, who was used to playing on loan every season, did not disappoint and with Cagliari he gave six assists, the second most for the club, in his 26 appearances without scoring a goal.