Grecian sensation

Theodoros Zagorakis is the captain of the Greece national football team that won the 2004 European Football Championship. A gritty but stylish midfielder, Zagorakis started his career with FC Kavala, but moved to PAOK Thessaloniki in 1992. He stayed with PAOK until 1998, when he moved to English club Leicester City F.C. While in England, he took part in two consecutive League Cup finals at Wembley Stadium, losing the first against Tottenham Hotspur in 1999 and defeating Tranmere Rovers in 2000. Zagorakis headed back to Greece in 2000, joining AEK Athens, one of the most successful teams in Greece, where he won the Hellenic Cup in 2002. On July 14, 2004, he was released by AEK as a result of the club’s serious financial difficulties. After failed talks with newly promoted Spanish club Levante, he signed a two-year contract with Italian Serie A side Bologna on July 16, moving on a Bosman free transfer.

Zagorakis is currently Greece’s all-time leader in caps, earning his 100th against Kazakhstan on November 17, 2004. He is now at 101 caps (scoring his first ever goal on a free kick against Denmark in World Cup 06 qualifying, in Athens), and has never missed an international game due to injury. Zagorakis is also captain of the national team. His first cap was in 1994, against the Faroe Islands. He played an important role in Greece’s victory in the 2004 European Championship, and was named the Player of the Tournament by UEFA. As trivial information, Zagorakis was featured on the cover of the Greek edition of FIFA 2000. Also his body naturally produces high levels of testosterone that in the past have been thought to be because of performance enhancing drugs. It has long been proven that it is indeed a natural but rare phenomenon. Interestingly, Zagorakis bears a striking resemblance to Australian actor Hugh Jackman.