Player Profile: Katsouranis PDF Print E-mail

Konstatinos KatsouranisFull name: Konstantinos Katsouranis

Position: Midfielder

Date of Birth: 26 June 1979

Birthplace: Patras, Greece


Konstatinos Katsouranis has been a revelation in his debut season with Lisbon giants, Benfica. A relative unknown when he was brought to the Estadio da Luz by Fernando Santos, the Greek international proved to be one of the best imports into the Portuguese Liga in the 2006/07 season.

At the tender age of 17 Katsouranis signed his first professional contract with hometown club, Panachaiki, in 1996. Unlike in Portugal, where highly promising players at a less fashionable team tend to be snapped up in a heartbeat by one of the major clubs, Katsouranis spent a total of six seasons with Panachaiki, making 96 appearances and netting 11 goals.

He was then involved in a three-way tussle for his services, with AEK Athens fending off competition from Panathinaikos and Olympiakos for his signature.

Impressive goal return

It was with AEK that Katsouranis’ career flourished. Despite failing to win a title, Katsouranis established himself as one of the country’s premier midfielders. In his second season with the club Katsouranis scored 12 goals while playing the defensive midfield position leading to overtures from German outfit, Werder Bremen, but the player decided to stay in his home country.

The 2005/06 season was AEK’s best in many a year as the club, now managed by Portuguese coach Fernando Santos, just missed out to Olympiakos in a keenly contested battle for the title. A second-placed finish meant that the club qualified for the Champions League, but despite the success Katsouranis felt it was time for another move.

Fernando Santos had returned to Portugal to take over the reins at Benfica, and Katsouranis agreed to join his former boss for a fee of 3.8 million euros. “Even if Fernando Santos or Karagounis [fellow compatriot] were not here, I still would have signed. For me, Benfica are one of the top clubs in Europe and they have proved that in the Champions League,” stated the midfielder when presented to the Portuguese media.

Katsouranis adapted remarkably smoothly to his new environment in his debut season in Portugal. His work ethic, ability to play in several different positions and a nose for goal are assets that have made his signing worth every penny, also earning him a place among the Benfica faithful as a big fans’ favourite.

International career

Katsouranis was a major driving force behind Greece’s sensational European Championship conquest in 2004. The world looked on in astonishment as the player and his team-mates lifted the title in Portugal, beating the heavily fancied hosts in the final played at what is now Katsouranis’ home stadium.

Whatever he achieves in the rest of his career, Katsouranis will always be remembered as a vital component of Greece’s finest football achievement.

by Marco Pereira (28/05/2007)

AEK Athens8123

* League appearances only

** Up to 20 March 2009

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