Today's and Tomorrow's Stars of the Red-Whites

SPORT24 reports the match profile of the Olympiakos K19 footballers who will compete against Milan on Monday for the Youth League Cup.

On Monday, Olympiakos will clinch the K19 European Championship against Milan in the final of the Youth League. This sentence alone is enough to define the structure of the irreversible victory of the Reds and the Whites.

A team full of talent, a homogeneous team, a team working with a specific project, structure and principles for three years, its architect Sothiris Xailidopoulos and the staff/responsibles of Olympiakos Academies. Director José Añigos outlines the function, goal, methodology and development of this totality, regardless of the final outcome of Europe.

A brief identification of all members of this group is therefore entirely justified. Not only in terms of an overview of their competitive profile, but also, importantly, in the perfectly reasonable hope that this will be a small, very small preview of what's to come, because they're all here to stay, not only today, but also tomorrow. For good.

Protect children

Angelo Cena: From the “olds”, from the '04-year-olds of the Olympiakos roster (ie, born in 2004 – three people in this age “class” are allowed in the youth league). A goalkeeper whose main quality at home is good reactions and reflexes, as he showed in the semi-final against Nantes in the penalty shootout, had a significant contribution due to his good transfers and build-up.

In the summer of 2021, then in the red and whites' K17, he was one of the four academies invited by then Olympiakos coach Pedro Martins to the first training sessions of the first team's preparation.

Thanos Koutsokoulas: Chairman. Second on the list is '04 (born 3/4/2004). In Olympiakos' 3-4-3, he covers the entire right side. A regular choice of coach Tsilidopoulos since last season. And this is not the first time in his life.

From the age of 14 in the “red and white” academies, he started as a winger (where he played, after all, until his replacement, and in the semi-final against Nantes, when Damas entered the field), along the way he became a “ten” before the establishment – until Notara, Passpartout Gar – At the right end of the defense. As expected due to his trend, he is technically sound and has consistently adapted perfectly to the data of the position.

Nectarios Alafakis: The smallest one in the list. Born on 13/3/2006, he moved from Iraklis Sagnon to the academies of Olympiakos at the age of 14, another one of the coaching discoveries. He started as a defensive midfielder in the K17 of the “red and whites” and now he … has made the entire left side his property.

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Isidoros Koutsidis: He should say. In the rematch with Fenerbahce at the Olympiakos Mission in Istanbul on Thursday night, +2700 kilometers away even after 15 hours, a key player in the Youth League semi-finals and a new qualification in the penalty shootout.

And totally worth it. The third of '04 (23/12/2004), marked a leap in his development this season. The first of a trio of stoppers, good at high play, with the ball at his feet, quick and agile, even for his level of performance and experience, a regular member of Olympiakos B' (20 appearances). ) without SuperLeague 2's tough and dynamic gameplay issues.

His promotion to the first team next season seems obvious – and rightly so.

Costas Costolas: Kostula is the eldest of the brothers. At the age of 19 (8/2/2005), he is a central defender, usually on the right of a trio of stoppers. Another in the current Olympiakos roster, reliable and consistent, one of the team's intense personalities with a marked and obvious improvement in his game this season.

Vasilis Brigades: Usually the third of a trio of central defenders. Right-footed and he mainly covers the left wing (against Bayern in Munich, he played in the center due to the absence of Koutsidis), which shows his technical ability.

At the same age as Kostoulas (born 29/8/2005), the Trikali stopper also “regressed” on the field on his way to the Olympiakos academies, where he joined them as a midfielder in the summer of 2021. Olympiakos B' had a taste.

A detail that highlights the adaptability of central defenders of the Olympiakos K19 team: in Olympiakos B', there is a formation with four defences, i.e. two stoppers.

Costas Thanulis: Basketball team Olympiakos acquired the 21-year-old center (height 2.10) from Prometheus last summer. Giorgos Danulis and his younger brother and… the shorter (at 1.90, the same height as Koutsidis, the two tallest. List) Kostas.

In his 4 at Ariz academies, he scored 2 goals against Olympiakos in the U19 league last season, reliable choice… Passpartout for the defensive triplet (in Munich he played left stopper), very decisive, very dynamic. Ball at his feet.

Antonis Dama – Paris Pleonis: Next day to central defenders. Both born in 2006 (19/1 and 19/10 respectively), have already picked up significant playing time. Damas, who comes from Ambilakiakos, counts six years in Olympiakos' nursery section and is capable of covering the right end of defense (as he did in the semi-final against Nantes off the bench) if needed. .

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For his part, Pleonis – who invaded international news last August in the Italian media saying he was going to Burma's Primavera, but without proving it to be true – has adequately borne a role and a precedent. of those who stop.

Spanish, Siopis, Fortunis

Christos Moussakidis: “Spaniard”. Born on Christmas Day 2006, one of the most special talents of this generation, yet one of the youngest.

A left-footed midfielder, usually only “identified” as an 8, but his characteristics escape specific boxes. Mind… computer, bank puts the ball at his feet, creates, passes, runs, cuts and stitches, executes fixed phases, mind, quality.

Befitting his age, a passport to immediate promotion to the first team (he's already made 12 appearances in SL2 and Olympiakos B'), let alone a match for his skills during his time on the bench. “Red and White” Spanish technician.

Funis Baculas: “Siophis”. The 19-year-old defensive midfielder (born 4/1/2005) brings the pitch to Cardiff's international midfielder. Always running everywhere, perennial powers, but not only because of the agility in his game, but also because he is technically adequate.

A sign of his professionalism. He was tested, liked and selected by Sporting to join their academies – leaving k15 of Panathinaikos, but fell due to infection, so he went to Olympiakos (following advice from “Greens”, scout, Giorgos Familias). .

Argyris Liatsikoras: Captain of last year's Olympiakos U17 champions (born 12/20/2006). Leadership qualities and physique, a “classic” defensive midfielder, focused on blocking tasks, a “worker”, runs, constant pressure and flattery and work in the game and in his daily life…break the ceiling .

Antonis Papaganellos: “Fortunes”. It's not just a common link of tenure in Astera Tripolis, but everything…everything. Same position, same role on the pitch, lots of balls. The Achaean midfielder's goal in Munich's 2-0 win over Bayern in the Youth League quarter-finals was indicative of his quality.

The oldest of Olympiakos' nursery divisions, k19's “Ten” joined the “Red and White” academies in 2012 at the age of 7 (born on 11/8/2005). Pace, driving, aggression, ability in 1vs1, mastery of movement, long pass, passing in space, perception, imagination, intelligence are some elements that make him stand out.

Since last year he has taken games at Olympiakos B', a matter of time – and rightly so – at the next level.

Stavros Nimonides: from the revelations of this season. In 2020 he was “recommended” from Toxa Chorizos of Kastoria to Olympiakos as a winger. Now, he too – born on 7/8/2006 – played mainly as a second “ten” behind the striker, adapting to the needs of the “red and white” formation.

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Quick, goal-oriented, altruistic, and versatile on the field, he reminds many of Giorgos Mazouras.

A great one

Babis Kostoulas: event. There isn't a team in Europe right now that if they could add him to their roster they wouldn't. Everyone, but without exception everyone – and many – who were in Neon on Friday, had their eyes on him. In vain of course, since the Olympiakos of the next decade were “built” (more) on him.

A generational talent, as the Anglo-Saxons say, a pioneer who stands out despite coming from '07 (Benjamin of the team, born 30/5/2017). Unique technique, unimaginable for his age and sense of goal, the full forward, who is… fun at this age level, already stood out in SL2 and is ready to step up to the first team level.

Christos Darviras: Second on the list is '07 (11/1/2007). Attacking midfielder… Free grazing, technical ability is a characteristic feature. He may be the most technically gifted footballer of the youth league finalists.

Christos Ligatas: Last year, in the semi-finals of the k17 championship, the fairplay award was given, a dead-a-dead with the goalkeeper of Mars was stopped because one of his opponents was injured on the field. of the game.

Left-footed winger (born 12/10/2006), who can play at both ends, is quick with the ball at his feet and very good at set pieces.

Christos Katopoulos: Attacker (born 8/2/2005), usually up top, playing on the wings when needed. He made 2 appearances and 1 goal (in a 4–0 win over Kabala, where he started as a starter) in Olympiakos' run to the finals of the Youth League.

Nikos Lolis: Central midfielder (born 20/1/2005), bought from PAS last summer, where he spent the first half of the season on loan from Olympiakos. He got eleven minutes in the game against Lance.

Nikos Christos – Elias Panakakos – Yiannis Rolakis – Pascalis Toufakis – Alexandros Exarchos: From being a key member of Olympiakos' nursery teams in previous years, Christos (born 26/1/2004) has been plagued by injuries this season as well.

Stopper Panakakos (born 27/7/2006), central midfielder Toufakis (12/9/2006), left back Rolakis (17/7/2006), substitute goalkeeper Exarchos, all mainly in rotation in the domestic k19 league.

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