Manolas enters top 10 for European appearances
On Tuesday, AS Roma may have lost to Viktoria Plzen in the concluding match of the 2018/2019 UEFA Champions League group stage, but centre-back Kostas Manolas entered the top 10 Greek players in terms of European appearances.
Kostas Manolas is now the 10th Greek player in history to play in 70 matches in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League (including the qualifying stages). In the Czech Republic, Roma surprisingly lost to Viktoria Plzen in the sixth match of the Champions League, however the Italians had already booked their place in the Last 16 alongside Real Madrid and Manolas will have the chance to extend his list of European appearances in the next phase of the competition.
Back on August 19, 2010, Manolas made his continental debut with AEK Athens in the 1:0 win at Dundee United in the final round of Europa League qualifying, and he went on to play in 13 European games with the Athenians. On September 18, 2012, he played in his maiden Champions League match, turning out for Olympiacos in a 1:2 defeat to Schalke 04 in Piraeus.
Since joining AS Roma, the 27-year old has competed in 32 Champions League games, and he captured the headlines in early 2018 with his famous header against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals. Manolas also played a key role in Roma advancing from Group G by registering the opening goal in a vital 2:1 win over CSKA Moscow in the Russian capital.
UEFA Euro 2004 champions Antonis Nikopolidis and Giorgos Karagounis are still the only Greeks to play over 100 matches in European tournaments. Here are the top 10 Greeks in terms of continental competitions:
Antonis Nikopolidis (Panathinaikos, Olympiacos), 104 appearances
Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos, Internazionale, Benfica), 102 appearances
Kostas Katsouranis (AEK, Benfica, Panathinaikos, PAOK), 97 appearances
Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK, Panathinaikos), 91 appearances
Nikos Lyberopoulos (Panathinaikos, AEK), 88 appearances
Predrag Djordjevic (Olympiacos), 83 appearances*
Giannis Goumas (Panathinaikos), 76 appearances
Pantelis Kafes (PAOK, AEK, Olympiacos), 73 appearances
Loukas Vyntra (Panathinaikos), 72 appearances
Kostas Manolas (AEK, Olympiacos, AS Roma), 70 appearances
*Holds Greek citizenship