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Fanis Gekas

Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 14.00CET
Samsunspor
Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 14.00CET

Fanis Gekas

Samsunspor

A predatory striker, Fanis Gekas did not enter the big time until a brilliant debut campaign in the German Bundesliga in 2006/07, when he was the top scorer with 20 goals for VfL Bochum 1848. He has since thrived at international level and was the top scorer in the European qualifying zone for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Played three seasons in the Greek second division for home-town club Larissa FC before becoming a consistent threat in the top flight for Kallithea FC (32 goals in 73 games); left for Panathinaikos FC midway through 2004/05 campaign and topped the Super League scoring charts with 18 goals − ten for Kallithea, eight for Panathinaikos.

• Scored 15 goals for the Greens in 2005/06 − the second best tally in the division − but failed to start any of the club's UEFA Champions League group matches and moved to Bochum on loan.

• A string of goals in the Bundesliga cemented his place in Greece's UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying side and he was the team's top marksman in the campaign with five goals; unable to add any more at the finals.

• Joined Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2007 after Bochum failed to take up the option of a permanent transfer from Panathinaikos, but faded after a promising start and had an ill-fated loan in 2008/09 with Portsmouth FC before spending the second half of 2009/10 at Hertha BSC Berlin, his six goals proving in vain as the capital club were relegated.

• Despite his club troubles he powered Greece to the 2010 World Cup with ten qualifying goals, including four in one game against Latvia, thus pipping Edin Džeko and Wayne Rooney as the European zone's leading marksman; failed to score at the finals in South Africa, where he started two games, and retired from the international scene only to return, and score, in a vital UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Croatia in October 2011.

• Rediscovered his prolific club form in the first half of the 2010/11 season with Eintracht Frankfurt, but the team fell away and were relegated − despite his final tally of 16 Bundesliga goals; left for Turkish outfit Samsunspor in January 2012 and fired eight goals in eleven games.

Last updated: 24/05/12 16.44CET

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