Ioannis Matzourakis

Ioannis Matzourakis
Personal information
Date of birth June 6, 1949 (1949-06-06) (age 61)
Place of birth    Didymoteicho, Thrace, Greece
Playing position Striker
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
CFR Cluj
Rapid Bucharest
AEL Larissa
Teams managed
Egaleo FC
Egaleo FC
APOP Paphos
AE Larissa
Skoda Xanthi
AEL Limassol
Skoda Xanthi
Skoda Xanthi
OFI Crete
Skoda Xanthi

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Ioannis Matzourakis (born June 6, 1949 in Didymoteicho) is a Greek association football manager and former player. He is currently employed by OFI Crete.

Spending his child life in Romania, Matzourakis began his footballing career for the Romanian side of CFR Cluj, where he became the team's top goalscorer in 1968–1969. He was later transferred to Rapid Bucharest where he played until the age of 22.

In 1971, he returned to Greece and played for PAOK FC and two years later he was transferred to AEL Larissa where he ended his career.

He began his career as a coach in the 1980s, by coaching first Egaleo FC[1] and then he coached Chalkida and Kavala. Then, in 1987–88 he went to Cyprus and coached APOP Paphos and later for Pezoporikos. Returning to his country the following season he was coach of Naousa. As a coach he won his first title with his team APOEL, which coached them in 1989–90, when he went back to Cyprus. That season APOEL became champions.

For three years, since 1990 he was coach for Pierikos but then he went back to Cyprus and to his previous team APOEL in 1993 until 1995.

Returning to Greece, he coached Larissa, in 1995–96 and then he employed for Skoda Xanthi. He coached the team for four years until 1999 and he returned to the team in 2004 for two years. It is considered that his best work was for Xanthi with their chairman Christos Panopoulos. The second time when he worked for them, Xanthi achieved their greatest success in their history. As a coach of the team, Xanthi became 5th in 2005–06, a position which gave them the right to play in UEFA Cup.

The greatest moment in his career was with Olympiacos in 1999–2000 became champions and the following season when he coached the "Legend of Piraeus" in UEFA Champions League.

Olympiacos Piraeus

On April 9, 2000, the day of the Greek parliament elections, Olympiacos' chairman Sokratis Kokkalis sacked manager Alberto Bigon. Matzourakis was the manager of Skoda Xanthi by this time, but on April 10, 2000, one day after Bigon left, Matzourakis signed for 1,5 year in Olympiacos.

By this time, Olympiacos was first in the league with 68 points, 1 point over Panathinaikos. Matzourakis promised he will lead the team to 8 wins in the 8 remaining matches, that meant Olympiacos wins the championship.

His first match in the team was against Iraklis at OAKA. Olympiacos started the game well, they had many misses, but they won only 1–0 with a goal by Luciano de Souza in the 90+2 minute. Olympiacos continued winning and remained first, although Panathinaikos lost 1–0 away to Panahaiki and Matzourakis' team, with 8 wins in 8 games, celebrated its forth consecutive championship.

In the summer transfer period, Zlatko Zahovic was transferred to Valencia FC, although other high-class players, such as Ze Elias, Grigoris Georgatos (on loan from Inter), Par Zetterberg, Christian Karembeu, Gabriel Alvez and the young Nery Castillo, moved to Olympiacos. With these additions, Matzourakis' team became more powerful and celebrated wins over Olympique Lyonnais (2–1) and Valencia FC (1–0) at home in the 2000–01 Champions League. Although, Olympiacos was unable to win away, and due to a loss to Heerenveen S.C. 1–0 in Holland, the Greek champions finished 3rd with 9 points and failed to qualify to the second round. Due to this, Olympiacos fans were booing Matzourakis in the match against Liverpool FC (2–2) for the UEFA Cup.

In the final match of the group stage against Olympique Lyonnais at Gerland, Matzourakis made a substitution changing Giovanni, and the Brazilian attacked his coach verbally, with Matzourakis responding. This incident forced the fans to boo Olympiacos' coach at the match against Liverpool.

This, along with an argue with Lampros Choutos, forced Matzourakis to leave the club, while Olympiacos was first in the league, 4 points over Panathinaikos and AEK. His successor Takis Lemonis continued, winning the championship 12 points over Panathinaikos and 17 points over AEK.

After 2000

Back in Cyprus in 2002, he coached Anorthosis Famagusta and AEL Limassol, and in 2003, AEL qualified to the Cypriot Cup final after 14 years, and was beaten on penalties by Anorthosis 5–3 after a draw 0–0.

After working in Xanthi for two years, he gave up by coaching the team on September 26, 2006, after the bad results of the team. He returned to Cyprus in January 2007, this time for AC Omonia, replacing their previous coach Ioan Andone without success. He was fired after his team was beaten in the Cypriot Cup Final by Anorthosis Famagusta.

On December 14, 2007 he was appointed manager of Veria, and his spell there was followed by good results. The team escaped the relegation zone, but on March 11, 2008 he was sacked after a home loss to his former club Olympiacos 0–1. Rumours suggested that Matzourakis will become the manager of Olympiacos for the second time after he left Veria, because Olympiacos' coach Takis Lemonis was also sacked after that match. Although, Jose Segura succeeded Lemonis at Olympiacos, and Veria was relegated after Matzourakis left.

After that season, Matzourakis returned to Xanthi, but he was sacked before the start of the 2008–09 season. On November 20, 2008 he became the coach of OFI Crete but he couldn't prevent the team from relegation and was sacked after the end of the season. On September 22, 2009 he once again returned to Xanthi, although the team's results were disappointing and he was sacked on February 23, 2010.


1. ^ "Greece 1984/85". RSSSF. Retrieved 2009-04-11.

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