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Kostas Katsouranis
KatsouranisBenfica.jpg
Personal information
Full name Konstantinos Katsouranis
Date of birth 21 June 1979 (1979-06-21) (age 30)
Place of birth Patras, Greece
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Panathinaikos
Number 29
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2002 Panachaiki 121 (14)
2002–2006 AEK Athens 110 (29)
2006–2009 Benfica 080 (10)
2009– Panathinaikos 021 0(8)
National team
2003– Greece 067 0(7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 August 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Konstantinos "Kostas" Katsouranis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος „Κώστας“ Κατσουράνης; born 21 June 1979 in Patras) is a Greek footballer who currently plays for Panathinaikos FC and the Greek national team as a defensive midfielder.

Contents

Club career

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Panachaiki

He was only 17 years old when he debuted in the 1996–97 season for the Patras-based club Panachaiki, he spent six seasons there and, by the third, was a regular starter. During his time at Panachaiki, he helped them get promoted from the second division and was a vital part in there fight from relegation during his time at the club.

When his contract with Panachaiki expired, Katsouranis decided that it was time to move forward to a bigger club. He opened negotiations with Panathinaikos, but the coach, Fernando Santos, decided to sign Portuguese Carlos Chaínho, a player he knew when at FC Porto, which meant Katsouranis' transfer would not be finalized.

Olympiacos then approached the Greek. The talks with the vice-president of the club, Giorgos Louvaris, seemed final, but Louvaris asked Katsouranis to wait until the president, Sokratis Kokkalis, returned from a business trip to the United States for the final negotiations. But former AEK Athens president Chrysostomos Psomiadis took advantage of the situation and convinced the promising midfielder to sign a three-year contract with AEK Athens.

AEK Athens

Coming off the bench and making an impressive debut for the club, Katsouranis immediately became an integral part of the club. His continuing progress in the top-level rapidly made him the team's best player and a first team regular with great performances, both domestically and in European competition. The 2004–05 season would prove to be one Katsouranis' finest seasons with the club, as he scored 10 times in 28 appearances from the defensive midfielder spot, leading the club in a hard battle for the title. AEK managed to finish third when many had expected a mid-table performance. Werder Bremen expressed strong interest for the Greek international but Kostas together with president Demis Nikolaidis decided to reject the offer.

In the 2005–06 season, Katsouranis led the club to a second place finish in the league, which brought them into the UEFA Champions League. Att the end of the season, manager Fernando Santos was sacked and Katsouranis wanted to leave to a bigger club and further his career abroad. He then signed with SL Benfica of Portugal, managed by Fernando Santos, for a fee of around €2 million plus the proceeds of friendly match in Athens between the two clubs.[1]

Benfica

Katsouranis signed a four-year contract with SL Benfica on 22 June 2006, joining is ex-manager in Fernando Santos and fellow countryman Giorgos Karagounis. When he arrived in June, he said "Even if Fernando Santos or Karagounis were not here, I still would have joined. Benfica to me is one of Europe's top clubs and they proved that in the UEFA Champions League. I am here to achieve that same objective and joining Benfica can also help my international career."

In his first Portuguese derby, against FC Porto, he followed on to score for Benfica with a header following a corner kick, the second goal he has scored for Benfica in the league in just a few matches. Katsouranis quickly became a key player for Benfica, scoring some important goals and also captaining the team on a few occasions. He proved to be one of the most important imports into the 2006–07 Portuguese Liga, playing in 29 league matches and scoring six goals.

Despite interest from Valencia CF, Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, and Juventus, Benfica refused to sell the player, despite Juventus willing to trade Tiago for the Greek international. Benfica were relunctant to sell and, on 14 September 2007, Katsouranis agreed to a contract extension with Benfica for another two years.

On 2 March 2009, Katsouranis was named "Benfica Player of the Year".[2] .

Panathinaikos

Katsouranis signed a four year contract with Greek Super League club Panathinaikos, on 1 July 2009 [3]. He has stated that it's the team he supported since childhood.[4] He scored his first goal against Sparta Prague in the Champions League. Here he found Giorgos Karagounis, Yourkas Seitaridis that they won with him the Euro 2004

International career

Katsouranis made his international debut for Greece on 20 August 2003 against Sweden and scored his first goal against Kazakhstan in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Katsouranis was one of the key factors in Greece's triumph at the UEFA Euro 2004, beating Portugal in his own "home" (Benfica's Estádio da Luz) and, following Greece's success at the tournament, Katsouranis was a regular for Greece in their unsuccessful 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Katsouranis became one of Greece's impact players in their UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers in which he helped Greece qualify for the finals and have a chance to retain their crown. Their UEFA Euro 2008 campaign resulted in poor fashion as Greece failed to pick up a point. Katsouranis has captained Greece on several occasions and made his country in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Panachaiki 1996-97 14 2 * * * * * * 14 2
1997-98 4 1 * * * * * * 4 1
1998-99 28 1 * * * * * * 28 1
1999-00 27 5 * * * * * * 27 5
2000-01 25 2 * * * * * * 25 2
2001–02 25 3 * * * * * * 25 3
AEK Athens 2002–03 26 6 * * * * * * 26 6
2003–04 27 7 * * * * * * 27 7
2004–05 28 10 * * * * * * 28 10
2005–06 29 6 * * * * * * 29 6
Total (Greece) 231 43 * * * * * * 231 43
S.L. Benfica 2006–07 29 6 2 1 - - 11 1 42 8
2007–08 27 2 2 0 1 0 12 1 42 3
2008–09 24 2 1 0 5 2 4 0 34 4
Total (Portugal) 80 10 5 1 6 2 27 2 118 15
Panathinaikos 2009–10 20 8 * * * * 10 1 30 9
Career Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 17 November 2004 Piraeus, Greece  Kazakhstan 3-1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 7 October 2006 Piraeus, Greece  Norway 1-0 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier
3. 11 October 2006 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-4 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier
4. 22 August 2007 Thessaloniki, Greece  Spain 2-3 Loss Friendly Match
5. 6 February 2008 Nicosia, Cyprus  Finland 2-1 Win Friendly Match
6. 19 May 2008 Patras, Greece  Cyprus 2-0 Win Friendly Match
7. 11 October 2008 Piraeus, Greece  Moldova 3-0 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Honours

Greece
Individual
Benfica

References

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Nikos Kostenoglou
AEK Athens captain
2005-2006
Succeeded by
Traianos Dellas

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