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Yiannis Okkas

Published: Wednesday 14 June 2006, 18.08CET
Cyprus

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Published: Wednesday 14 June 2006, 18.08CET

Yiannis Okkas

Cyprus

Clubs: Nea Salamis Famagusta FC, Anorthosis Famagusta FC, PAOK FC, AEK Athens FC, Olympiacos FC, RC Celta de Vigo, AC Omonia, Anorthosis Famagusta FC

• Okkas never looked back after breaking into the Nea Salamis first team at the age of 16. In 1997, he took his striking talent across town to Anorthosis and quickly established himself as a key player in a side which won three successive Cypriot league titles during his time at the club.

• Left Anorthosis in 2000 and spent the next seven seasons in Greece, winning the cup with PAOK in his first campaign and again in 2002/03, and consecutive domestic doubles at Olympiacos.

• In 2007, he made history by becoming the first Cypriot to sign a professional contract with a Spanish club when he joined Celta. In his sole season in Galicia, Okkas scored six goals in 24 Liga appearances.

• Returned home in 2008 to join Omonia but his stint with the Nicosia side lasted only one season as he rejoined Anorthosis − where he remains to this day − the following summer.

• Four days after turning 20 in February 1997, Okkas made his debut for Cyprus in a 3-2 friendly defeat by Poland. He scored his first goal two months later against Bulgaria, while his effort in a 2-1 home loss to France in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying − a delicate chip over goalkeeper Grégory Coupet − is regarded as arguably Cyprus's greatest.

• The Mediterranean island's most-capped player, he marked his 100th outing with a goal − his 26th at international level − in a 2-1 home reverse against Norway on 8 October 2010. Aside from his strike versus France, Okkas famously equalised with a volley when Cyprus drew 1-1 with Germany during UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying.

Last updated: 08/12/13 7.39CET

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