I received this email from Ilias Tsetsekos a Red supporter from Greece regarding the talk about Liverpool signing Sotiris Kyrgiakos.
If this transfer was made 4-5 years ago, I’d be thrilled for him (and for Liverpool of course). My reaction now is hmmmmm, can he make it ? And it appears as a desperate move from us to get a defender worth 3M Euro (another courtesy of the fckin’ Yanks). But I better get to the point fast.
Sotiris Kyrgiakos comes from the football academies of Panathinaikos. The summer of 2001 was the luckiest of all for him. Panathinaikos has 2 out of the 3 center backs injured, just 2 weeks before the 3rd qualifier for the Champ.League. Pana recall him from loan from a minor team and he makes a stunning defender’s duo with Danish international Rene Henriksen in Pana. Kyrgiakos was so powerful, so thirsty for football and learned from possibly the best foreign defender ever playing for Pana. Kyrgiakos gets the double with Pana in 2004 and his fight with Olympiakos striker Giovanni will never be forgotten (yes Kyrgiakos may go nuts sometimes). Check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O7aJh8_0i0
His performances don’t go unnoticed. Glasgow Rangers want him. In fact, they sent the private jet of Sean Connery to pick him from Athens (yes, they did). McLeish was thrilled by his aggressive style of play and Rangers get him. But this was also the start for Pana to have a court case with Kyrgiakos (Kyrgiakos still owns around 1.5M Euro to Pana from that transfer).
Kyrgiakos evolved in Rangers, but the Scottish didn’t want him anymore, mainly because of his large yearly payment, so Eindracht Frankfurt get him in 2006. He was great there, scoring 8 goals in 2 seasons, not bad for a defender in Bundesliga. But the Germans didn’t renew his contract and he returned back to Greece, this time for AEK Athens.
Kyrgiakos is quite aggresive both when the ball is low and high, but that doesn’t really mean he’s strong too. Kyrgiakos is 30 years old now and suffered from an injury at the end of last season, dunno how good he’s in terms of fitness at the moment. The good thing is that he scores too, mainly from set pieces.
The reaction here in Greece is rather mixed. The AEK fans are frustrated because about a week ago he renewed his contract with AEK and stated that he will finish his career to them and now he’s leaving. The rest of the Greek fans are laughing on Liverpool for getting him, while a lot of people are still shocked and in doubt whether this transfer has been completed.
Ilias Tsetsekos, Athens-Greece.