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Giorgos Karagounis

Published: Sunday 13 April 2008, 1.00CET

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Published: Sunday 13 April 2008, 1.00CET

Giorgos Karagounis


A long-standing Greek international midfielder and latter-day captain, Giorgos Karagounis is a legendary figure at Athens club Panathinaikos FC, where he has spent the bulk of his career – interspersed with spells abroad in Italy and Portugal. He reached 100 international caps during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign.

• Joined Panathinaikos in his teens and though he did not win a major domestic honour with the Greens over the next five years, he shone for the club in Europe, notably in 2000/01 and 2001/02 when the Athens outfit had lengthy runs in the UEFA Champions League.

• The captain of the Greece side that finished runners-up to Spain at the 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, he made his senior debut the following year, against El Salvador, and soon became a regular in Otto Rehhagel's side.

• Scored the opening goal of UEFA EURO 2004 with a low drive as Greece upset hosts Portugal 2-1, but was suspended for the final against the same opponents three weeks later as Greece captured the European title in Lisbon.

• Joined FC Internazionale Milano from Panathinaikos in 2003, becoming only the second Greek to play for the Italian club (after Grigoris Georgatos) but despite winning his first club trophy − the Coppa Italia, in his second season − he featured only intermittently for the Nerazzurri.

• Moved to SL Benfica in 2005 and thrived under coach Fernando Santos in 2006/07, helping the team reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• Remained a consistent performer for his country, starting every one of Greece's 12 qualifying matches for UEFA EURO 2008, scoring both goals in a March 2008 friendly against Portugal (2-1) and featuring prominently at the finals in Austria.

• Back at Panathinaikos, he skippered the club to a Greek double in 2009/10 prior to making his FIFA World Cup bow at the finals in South Africa, where he was the team captain and started all three matches.

• Retained his place as national-team skipper under new coach Fernando Santos (his former boss at Benfica) and won his 100th cap in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying victory over Latvia in Piraeus on 8 October 2010.

• Karagounis received his commemorative cap and medal from UEFA to mark his century of international appearances before he captained Greece to a 2-0 victory against Croatia on 7 October 2011. "It was a special night for us," he said. "The awards made it special and then came this victory after a hard-fought match. We are all happy and proud."

UEFA honours
UEFA European Championship: winner 2004
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: runner-up 1998

Last updated: 08/12/13 7.38CET

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