Efstathios Tavlaridis (Greek: Στάθης Ταυλαρίδης; born 25 January 1980 in Serres), commonly known as Stathis Tavlaridis, is a Greek football defender currently playing for Greek Super League club Larissa F.C. Tavlaridis has earned the nickname "Taureau" in France which means "The Bull" due to his aggressive style of play.
He started his career at Iraklis Thessaloniki and in 2001 was transferred to Arsenal at the age of 21 for £1m. He never fully broke into the first team, unable to displace Sol Campbell and Kolo Touré, and spent a period on loan to Portsmouth. He made eight appearances for Arsenal, all but one of them in the League Cup. He made his Premier league debut in 2002–03 season against Southampton, where Arsenal rested many of their players for the upcoming FA Cup Final, also against Southampton. In early 2004 he was loaned to Lille OSC and the deal was made permanent that summer.
On April 29 he was transferred from Arsenal to Lille OSC on a four year contract. He had a successful spell with the club which meant that during the summer of 2007, he was creating a lot of interest from other clubs.
Despite being linked with a hosts of Ligue 1 clubs, notably Bordeaux, Marseille, and Monaco, Tavlaridis announced that he was signing with AS Saint-Étienne for €2.5m after agreeing to a three-year deal with the club. Tavlaridis was handed the number 4 shirt and quickly inserted into the first eleven forming partnerships with Moustapha Bayal Sall. Tavlaridis made his debut against his former club Lille and was applauded by the Lille home fans.
Tavlaridis got off to a great start for the 2007–08 season scoring his first goal with Saint-Étienne in a 2–1 victory over Sochaux the following week. Tavlaridis was named as the club's permanent captain by manager Alain Perrin following the first league match of the 2009–10 Ligue 1 season, after having served as vice-captain the previous season. Tavlaridis has played 69 Ligue 1 appearances and has scored twice. Tavlaridis was removed as captain shortly due to his long-term injury playing only six matches.
On 30 April 2010 Larissa announced that an agreement had been reached with the Greek centre-back on a four-year deal and he joined the club for free when his contract with Saint-Etienne expired at the end of the season. He returned to Greece after a terrific career in England and in France during the past decade.
Tavlaridis has only managed to play twice for the Greek National Football Team having fallen out of favor with coach Otto Rehhagel as well as Akis Zikos, Ieroklis Stoltidis, Grigoris Georgatos, Nikos Lyberopoulos and Vassilis Tsartas. Tavlaridis has not featured in the squad since 2006.
1. ^ Tavlaridis profile
* Efstathios Tavlaridis French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
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