AGONA Profile: Dimitris Kolovos, a shrewd Panathinaikos signing
In connection with Dimitris Kolovos recently signing a three-year contract with Panathinaikos, AGONAsport takes a closer look at his eventful career so far.
Last week, Kolovos moved back to the Super League after three years away, penning a three-year contract with Panathinaikos after leaving Omonoia of the Cypriot First Division.
Although he’s only 26 years of age, has certainly been through the mill while receiving his fair share of setbacks. It all started when Kolovos lost his father, Kostas, six years ago. In an interview, Kolovos revealed the family situation at the time: “As a family, we practically had no money, sometimes we didn’t even have bread at home. When my father died, I wanted my mother to be at home with my siblings instead of working. My siblings, who are younger than me, needed a parent with them. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to be with them constantly, as I was playing professional football and regularly had matches to prepare for.”
FIRST PROFESSIONAL STEPS AT PANIONIOS AND OLYMPIACOS
His career didn’t begin well either. Born in Athens, he came through the ranks at Panionios after initially playing his football with local club PAS Oropos, but he ruptured the cruciate ligament when 18 and had to start from scratch. In all honesty, that could have ended the footballing days of other players, but Kolovos refused to wave the white flag. He returned to action with Panionios, and in August 2013, Piraeus giants Olympiacos signed him for a fee amounting to 750 thousand euros. Admittedly, Kolovos would remain at Panionios on loan until the 2015/2016 season.
After an impressive 2014/2015 campaign, in which Kolovos netted a large 11 Super League goals for Panionios, Olympiacos decided to give him a chance in Piraeus. Kolovos was hoping to play on a regular basis for the Erythrolefki, but sadly for him, he barely got a look in. The winger played in a grand total of 11 games across all competitions, and upon the season’s completion, Olympiacos opted to send him on loan to Belgian organisation Mechelen.
INJURY STRIKES AGAIN
That’s where the injury curse struck yet again. On February 19, 2017, in a Jupiler League match against Lokeren (in which he scored), Kolovos was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament rupture which ended up keeping him on the sidelines for 235 days.
Taking into account the injury, Mechelen could have been forgiven for not wanting to keep him in Belgium, but instead they decided to sign him on a permanent basis from Olympiacos for 700 thousand. Following his return to football in October 2017, Kolovos played in 12 Jupiler League matches for Mechelen, failing to contribute with any goals or assists.
In the summer of 2018, Kolovos was loaned out to Willem II, but after a slow start, the Eredivisie club sent him back to Mechelen. He then transferred to Omonoia Nicosia as a loanee in January.
FRESH START IN CYPRUS, GOAL AGAINST BOSNIA
In Cyprus, Kolovos finally started to make use of his obvious potential. Omonoia endured yet another testing campaign as they languished in sixth place of the Cypriot First League, but after joining in the winter, Kolovos was a shining light with four goals in 18 appearances. Impressed by his showings with Omonoia, Ethniki Omada boss Angelos Anastasiadis named him in the squad for the two European championship qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Bosnia, and he caught the eye in both matches with lively performances as an impact substitute.
His famous goal in Zenica was a reward for all of his hardships. In the closing stages of the game, Kolovos met a superb cross from the right wing, thumping a powerful header into the net to snatch an important 2:2 draw against the Bosnians. A moment he will never forget:
Capable of playing either a winger of an attacking midfielder, Kolovos gives Panathinaikos boss Giorgos Donis plenty of attacking options with his flexibility, and he always competes with energy and enthusiasm. This could turn out to be one of the most shrewd signings of the Greek transfer window this summer.