Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Greek Nureyev

Just seen a great video  of Vassilis Hatzipanagis, the Greek footballer. Seemed to be a very good dribbler and  could pick out a pass. His story is very interesting (thanks Wikipedia!). He was born to Greek immigrants in the USSR. As a teenager he was spotted by a local club, but to play for the first team, he had to apply for Soviet citizenship. He made his debut  at the age of 17 and represented the Soviet Union in a Olympic qualifying tournament. He received brilliant reviews where many considered him as highly as Oleg Blokhin.  
In 1975, Hatzipanagis signed for the Greek club Iraklis, where he played over 300 games. He played a friendly for Greece but the football authorities decided that he was ineligible for further international duty  because of his appearances for  the USSR.  Shame. Are there any other unknown superstars that we should know about?

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