Dimitris Papadopoulos, Member of EURO 2004 Squad, Announces Retirement

Dimitris Papadopoulos, Member of EURO 2004 Squad, Announces Retirement

Nearly the entire team of the Greece side that won the 2004 European Championships have all now retired. In recent days, striker Dimitris Papadopoulos bid farewell to the game and his fans with an Instagram message indicating his playing days were finally over. That now leaves only Kostas Chalkias as the remaining player of that legendary squad that is actively playing. Chalkias, now 43, is currently on the books at Panachaiki.

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Papadopoulos began his professional career with Akratitos in 1999. His 18-year career saw him become a true journeyman as he played for 12 different clubs across five countries. He played abroad for Burnley, Lecce, Dinamo Zagreb, and Lecce. Papadopoulos found most of his success in Greece however.

The best spell of his career was when he was with Panathinaikos between 2003 and 2008. The Uzbekistan-born striker was at his most prolific during that time period amassing over 50 goals in 126 matches for the Prasini. His performances at club level saw him become part of the national team setup. He represented Greece 22 times, scoring twice, and was a part of the national team squad that shocked the world to win EURO 2004.

In recent years, Papadopoulos has bounced around midtable clubs in Greece and the goals have dried up toward the end of his playing days. Still, even as recently as 2014, Papadopoulos won the Greek Super League Greek Player of the Year, managing to achieve that honor in back-to-back seasons and three times overall ( in the 03/04, 12/13/, 13/14 seasons).

Other notable achievements for the  player include a league and cup double for Panathinaikos in the 2003/04 season along with a Croatian league title for Dinamo Zagreb in 2009/10.

Papadopoulos will be remembered as a passionate striker, who when in top form was an extremely difficult player to stop. He registered 141 goals in over 500 matches played in his career. Greek fans will most likely remember him though for his cameo role at EURO 2004 when his assist to Zisis Vryzas against Russia gave Greece the goal they needed to go through to the quarter-finals of the competition.

by George Tsitsonis
Image Source: sdna.gr
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