Angelos Charisteas (*)
Angelos Charisteas (Greek: Άγγελος Χαριστέας, pronounced [ˈaɲɟelos xariˈste.as]) was born on 9 February 1980 in Strymoniko, Serres, but originates from Mani. He is a Greek football player who currently plays as a striker for FC Schalke 04. He is a member of the Greek national football team.
Charisteas goal in the final , Photo: Fritz Duras
Aris Thessaloniki FC
After a few years playing for non-league Strimonikos Serron Charisteas eventually started his professional career with Greek side Aris Thessaloniki. It was during his first season at Aris that Charisteas started making a name for himself, scoring twice in nine matches as they won the Greek second division in 1997–98. Charisteas started well in his first season in the Greek top league and got further noticed when he scored twice in the local derby against Thessaloniki rivals PAOK. The striker made twelve appearances in the Alpha Ethniki – six as a substitute – before a loan at Athinaikos in 1998–99. He returned to Aris the following season and made his European debut in a UEFA Cup defeat by Celta de Vigo at the age of 19. Charisteas was continuously developing and in the 2000–01 season scored seven goals, his best return in Aris' colours.
Having been watched by scouts from a number of Europe's leading sides, he was signed by German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in the summer of 2002. He had a successful first season scoring nine goals in 31 appearances in the Bundesliga and two goals from four games in the UEFA Cup. Then in 2003–04, Bremen won the Bundesliga and the German Cup with Charisteas scoring four goals from 24 appearances.
In the 2004–05 season, Charisteas scored five goals in 11 matches for Bremen, before moving to the Netherlands to play for AFC Ajax for a reported €4.5 million fee. Greece national team coach Otto Rehhagel had publicly urged Charisteas to try to move to another club during the January 2005 transfer window in order to get more first-team action. Ajax fitted the bill as they were hoping to find a replacement for Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who had been sold to Juventus. Charisteas made his Ajax debut on 23 January 2005 against FC Utrecht and scored his first goal four days later against SC Heerenveen. However, he only managed three more games all season. Charisteas netted home eight goals in the 2005–06 season, which included a late winner against Vitesse. Charisteas missed Greece's crucial match in the World Cup qualifying due to a head injury received after colliding with Arsenal's Kolo Touré in a Champions League match which Ajax lost 2–1.
Under new Ajax coach Henk ten Cate, Charisteas was the 5th striker behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Markus Rosenberg, Ryan Babel, and Rydell Poepon. Ten Cate explained this by saying that Charisteas is a great striker for the 4-4-2-system, but not for the 4-3-3-system which is played for Ajax.
Despite stating that he was only interested in a move to England or Germany, Charisteas signed for arch-rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam on 31 August 2006, the final day of the summer transfer window. This move caused a great deal of agitation in Rotterdam with parts of Het Legioen, stating that they did not want an Ajax player at their club, protesting the move at De Kuip with the chant "Wij willen geen neus." (translated as: "we don't want a nose," nose being derogatory slang for Ajax players) and demanded that chairman Jorien van den Herik resign. Despite the protests, Charisteas made his debut for Feyenoord on 10 September against Sparta Rotterdam and played the full game. He eventually scored his first goal for his new club in his tenth game. Although he seemed to have convinced some fans at a certain point, Charisteas never enjoyed a good relationship with Feyenoord supporters. He finished the season having played a total of 28 games for Feyenoord, netting nine goals.
On 6 July 2007, 1. FC Nuremberg confirmed a deal with Feyenoord to sign Charisteas on a four-year deal worth €2.5 million. Charisteas scored his first two official team goals in a 6–0 victory against fourth division club SC Victoria Hamburg.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
On 2 February 2009, he was loaned out to Bayer Leverkusen until the end of the season, helping the team to gain the final of the German Cup.
The 2009–10 season (where he returned back to newly promoted Nuremberg) Charisteas due his lack of goals. His first goal of the season came on 12 March 2010, when he scored the winning goal in the 1–2 away win against Hertha BSC, helping Nuremberg to avoid the relegation, before Otto Rehhagel called him in the Greek National Team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
After the World Cup 2010, Charisteas signed for Arles, with his team mate Angelos Basinas, in the Ligue 1. He did not manage to score a goal before his contract was terminated on November 2010.
FC Schalke 04
On 30 January 2011, FC Schalke 04 formalized his arrival. Charisteas signed a contract until the end of the season (30 June 2011).
Having been a regular player for the Greek Under-21 side, Charisteas made his senior international debut in February 2001 in a 3-3 draw against Russia. His impact was immediate as he scored two of the goals for Greece that day. His prolific goal scoring continued, eventually helping his team qualify for the UEFA Euro 2004 Championship.
During the victorious Euro 2004 campaign, Charisteas scored three goals: one in the group stage against Spain, one against France in the quarterfinals and the winning goal against Portugal in the final. His contribution to the team and his impact in the competition was further recognised when he was named in the Euro 2004 All-star Team and he was also nominated for 2004 European Footballer of the year award, where he finished 11th in votes.
In January 2007, Charisteas told Dutch football magazine Voetbal International that winning Euro 2004 was an unbelievable experience which he would not swap for all the money in the world: “Even in 50 years time, everybody will remember that I scored the goal which made Greece the champions of Europe. We wrote history and my life changed completely at that point.”
In the qualifying rounds for UEFA Euro 2008, Charisteas scored three goals, helping Greece to automatically qualify for the competition with two games left. He would go on to be one of few Greek players who performed well at Euro 2008, scoring the defending champions' only goal of the tournament in the 2-1 defeat to Spain. He also scored 3 goals for his country in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.
Charisteas was part of the squad that travelled to South Africa for the final tournament, where he played one game and he was the only player with Giourkas Seitaridis, Kostas Katsouranis, Georgios Karagounis and the goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias who participate in 2 European cup and a World Cup.
Angelos Charisteas become the second top scorer for the National Football Team of Greece with 24 goals, 5 less than Nikos Anastopoulos.
* German Championship: 2004
* Dutch Super Cup: 2006
* European Championship: 2004
* German Cup: Runners up 2008–09
1. ^ "Charisteas, Angelos" (in German). kicker.de. http://www.kicker.de/news/fussball/bundesliga/vereine/spielersteckbrief/object/26356/saison/2008-09. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
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