Christos Donis - A loyal clubman who gives his all
Christos Donis demonstrates hard work and leadership qualities under his father to come of age at Panathinaikos. AGONAsport takes a closer look.
Christos Donis has enjoyed an intriguing career to date, coming from a football family and attempting to forge his own name in the game. This season at his boyhood club Panathinaikos, the midfielder had to improve and take on more responsibility, courtesy of being an older player in a relatively young squad.
Truth be told, he has been hit and miss over the course of his career but his loyalty to the cause and determination can never be questioned. The spotlight was always going to be on him this season as his father, Giorgos, took over as manager and he is an integral part of the team in the middle of the park.
Born in Athens on the 9th of October, 1994, he rose through the ranks at Panathinaikos and broke into the first team in 2012 (ironically when the Greens were also in a rebuilding period). He saw his fair share of action under Yannis Anastasiou, however, he fell out of favour under Andrea Stramaccioni and was loaned out to Swiss club Lugano.
This move should have enabled Donis to prove the doubters wrong as he got the opportunity to play alongside his younger brother, Tasos. However, this did not go to plan and he only made one appearance. As a result, he was loaned out to PAS Giannina for the 2016-17 season. His career was going nowhere and he struggled in Giannina, only making three appearances before leaving.
The next loan move in the second half of that season transformed him. At Iraklis, he was a success, scoring 4 times in 15 games. This illustrated he had the mentality to succeed at Panathinaikos as he was a shining light in Thessaloniki playing with passion for a team battling to stay in the top flight.
He returned to Panathinaikos for the beginning of the 2017-18 season and has not left since as the Trifylli have relied upon his experience during testing times. Last season, he spent large periods playing out of position under Marinos Ouzounidis as a lone striker. There were no other alternatives since the Greens were battling bankruptcy and financial uncertainty. Not once did he chuck a tantrum.
Donis has always been known for not shirking from responsibility from a young age and has flourished as a leader in a young side under his father with his big character. He provides the perfect foil for Dimitris Kourbelis, who can defend stoutly and pick a pass from deep positions. Donis lacks the quality of Kourbelis but makes up for it with his aggressiveness and toughness.
His goal at OAKA against Aris earlier this month was his first since the 20th of January, 2018. He also amassed 100 appearances for Panathinaikos this season, which came as a fitting reward for his hard work and persistence in a football culture that is known for chasing “easy victims.”