Andreas Samaris, currently one of the top Greek professional footballers was born on the 13th June 1989 and turns 30 today!
The midfielder started his career in 2006, playing for Panachaiki F.C., where he made 37 league appearances and scored three goals for the club. In 2007, he signed his first professional contract with the club, where he was coached by Ange Postecoglou, former soccer player and now former head coach of the Australia national soccer team. Samaris later moved to Panionios F.C. in 2010.
At the same time, Samaris made his debut with the Greece national under-19 football team, first appearing on field at the 2008 European Under-19 Championship qualifier against France.
In 2012, the talented player joined Olympiacos, but spent the season on loan at Panionios. After returning to Olympiacos in 2013, on November 23 he scored his first goal with the club, in an away game with a 4–1 victory against Panthrakikos. That season, Samaris ended the league with 38 appearances.
In October 2013, he was called up to The Greece national football team by manager Fernando Santos. He made a substitute appearance in the final group qualifier against Liechtenstein, and also in the two play-off matches against Romania. After a strong season with Olympiakos, Santos opted to select Samaris to his final 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
On 24 June 2014, in his first appearance in a final tournament of the World Cup where Greece was versing Ivory Coast, Samaris replaced injured Panagiotis Kone and led the team to victory 2-1.
The following year, Samaris moved abroad and joined Portuguese champions Benfica on a five-year contract, for a transfer fee of €10 million and with a €45 million release clause.
One of his highlights from the 2015–16 Primeira Liga season, the top professional league for Portuguese association football clubs, was his first goal in the Primeira Liga. Samaris, after an assist from Greek teammate Kostas Mitroglou, scored with a right-footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. His goal led the club to win 3–2 against Moreirense.
Earlier this year in May, the midfielder extended his contract with Benfica until 2023.
Xronia Polla Andreas! Happy 30th Birthday!