Defensive midfielders are often expected to work their socks off for the team – tackle, hassle, frustrate and irritate their opponents. FC Pune City’s Greek footballer Kostas Katsouranis is one such prominent figure, who boasts the mentioned traits to absolute perfection. The defensive pit-bull has been Pune ‘s stand out performer, whilst being in the thick of the heat and action.
Kostas, made his professional debut for hometown club Panachaiki at the age of 16. One hundred and twenty three appearances filled with ‘playing his heart out on the field’ led Kostas to AEK Athens. He was a fan favourite at the Athens club and was regarded highly for his standout performances in the league and European competitions. After moving to Portuguese giants Benfica in 2006, Kostas further added quality and pedigree to his traits as a box-to-box midfielder. Short stints with Panathinaikos and PAOK followed Kostas after he left Benfica.
In his illustrious 18-year football career, Kostas has won the Greece Super League with Panathinaikos (2009-10). He has also been lauded twice with the ‘Greek Footballer of the Year’ award (2004-05 and 2012-13). The dominant Greek midfielder has also won one of the most prestigious International tournaments, the UEFA Euro Championship with Greece in 2004.
Signed by FC Pune City in the Hero Indian Super League for his acumen, skill and talent, Kostas has proven to be a stalwart for the Hrithik Roshan co-owned franchise. In a star-studded team boasting the likes of World Cup winner David Trezeguet and Jermaine Pennant, Kostas has often been Pune’s standout performer. His tactical know-how has often been capitalised on by gaffer Franco Colomba. Able to steal into the box with regularity despite usually playing in a deep-lying position, he has often been deployed as a defensive midfielder with the freedom to run forward by Colomba.
In his 12 appearances for the club, Kostas has scored four goals, assisted twice and registered an impressive 18 shots on target. The hard tackling midfielder who foxes his opposing players to perfection, before delivering the sucker punch, has also been lauded for his creativity and goal scoring abilities.
Adjusting to Indian conditions perfectly, Kostas has perhaps been FC Pune City’s strongest link and has captivated the ISL audience with charisma, glamour and an embedded trait of playing his heart out on the pitch.