Xronia Polla Giorgos Karagounis, who turns 46


Giorgos Karagounis' professional football career began in 1996, playing for Apollon Smyrnis on loan from Panathinaikos. In his first few years with the Athens-based club, he showed signs of his talent- a very energetic centre midfield player who could also score goals.

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After two seasons, he returned to Panathinaikos in 1998, where he played until 2003 and made 118 league appearances.

During the summer transfer window, Karagounis signed for the Italian Serie A team Internazionale; however, in his 2003/2004 season there, he wasn't given sufficient playing time on the field.

In 2005, Karagounis left Italy for Portugal, signing with Benfica. He played for them for two seasons before returning to Greece in 2007 and re-joining Panathinaikos.

Karagounis played for Panathinaikos until 2012 and was a part of the team when they won the 2010 Superleague Greece and the Greek Cup. In September 2012, he moved to Fulham; however, in the summer of 2014, 37-year-old Karagounis was one of nine players released by the club.

At the international level, Giorgos Karagounis represented Greece between 1999-2014, earning his first cap for the Greece national team in 1999 in a match against El Salvador.

He was a part of the UEFA Euro 2004 winning squad, and from then on, he was the national team regular, taking part in major international tournaments.

The superstar midfielder was the Greek National Team captain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and for the UEFA Euro 2012 where he received two yellow cards forcing him to miss the quarter-finals and the 2014 World Cup.

Karagounis retired from international football after Greece's World Cup elimination in 2014, with a penalty shootout loss to Costa Rica.

Even though Karagounis was short, he was primarily known for his challenging, gritty play on the field with his dribbling and creative ball passing. He possessed a shooting ability from a distance and combined his varied attacking talents with aggression in midfield that, made him able to win the ball back.

With 139 appearances over 15 years since making his debut in 1999, Giorgos Karagounis is the most capped player in the history of the Greece National Team.

Xronia Polla Giorgos, Happy 46th Birthday!

Source: giorgoskaragounis.com