Takis Lemonis (Greek: Τάκης Λεμονής; born 13 January 1960) is a former Greek football player , former manager of Cypriot champion Omonia and current manager of Panionios.
Takis Lemonis played for local club Attikos before playing for Olympiakos from 1978 until 1987. He also played for Levadiakos (1988 - 1991) and Panionios (1992 - 1993). During his playing career Lemonis was capped twice by the Greek national football team.
Having stopped football as a player, Lemonis studied coaching in England and, in 1996, became head coach at Asteras Zografou. In 2000, he returned to Olympiakos as the assistant coach and, after the dismissal of Ioannis Matzourakis, as head coach. Lemonis had domestic success at Olympiakos by winning two championships in a row but internationally fell short of the fans' expectations and was dismissed in October 2002. He has since coached APOEL F.C. in Cyprus (2003), Kallithea FC (2005) and Levadiakos upon their return to the Alpha Ethniki for the 2006 season.
Olympiakos under the leading of Takis Lemonis won the championship with 12 points difference in 2001 and beat AEK in a match practically final of the championship with a 4-3 in an impressive match in April 2002. He also managed to win AEK 6-1 and Panathinaikos 1-4 in Leoforos, Panathinaicos' historical castle, which together with this season's 4-0 against Panathinaicos again are the biggest domestic victories a Greek team has ever achieved during the last 20 years. However, Olympiacos did miserably in the Champions League (lost 3-0 to Maccabi Haifa) and Lemonis was quickly fired.
In September 2006, Lemonis once again replaced Ioannis Matzourakis, this time as coach of Xanthi FC. He resigned in December 2006 and, later that month, signed a six months contract and replaced Trond Sollied as the head coach of Olympiakos, but many fans were negative to his return. Despite the fact that Takis Lemonis is a genuine supporter of Olympiakos, many of the clubs fans dislike him because of his defensive coaching mentality and his inexperience in coaching international games.
Although Olympiacos was eventually crowned champion, the loss of the derby of the eternal enemies, the disqualification by a lower division club in the Greek Cup and the loss of Rivaldo led Olympiacos fans to boo Lemonis, Sokratis Kokkalis (the chairman of the club) and the players. However the chairman decided to extend Lemonis's contract for two more years which keeps Lemonis in the club until summer 2009. The 2007-08 season started badly with Olympiacos losing points in the Greek Superleague and drawing with Lazio at home. The away match with Werder Bremen was critical for Lemonis. However Olympiacos prevailed 1-3 (his first win in an away Champions League match) and Lemonis was given an extension. Lemonis was doing better on his second spell with Olympiacos, leading the way to a second away victory in Champions League away game against SS Lazio, a home win of 3-0 against Bremen (6-1 tally in favor of Olympiakos between the two teams), and a devastating 4-0 win against Panathinaikos in the Greek Cup eighth-finals. However he received a lot of criticism for his defensive coaching mentality, the poor performance of Olympiacos in the Super League Greece and the poor summer training of the team which resulted in a large number of injuries. Takis Lemonis responded to the criticism by stating that the large number of injuries was not surprising given the fact that Olympiacos had a lot of new players. He dismissed the negative comments regarding the summer training. He "refused to apologize" for the team's performance so far and stated that Olympiacos remained a contender for all the targets he had set since the beginning of the season. However the draw in Karaiskákis Stadium with Asteras Tripolis, days before the UEFA Champions League actually terminated Lemonis' career at Olympiakos, as on March 11, 2008 the board of directors unanimously decided to sack him.
As coach of Olympiacos, Lemonis has achieved a great amount in both their domestic and UEFA Champions League campaigns. He achieved Olympiacos' greatest margin of victory in the competition by defeating Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 in 2002-03. In his second reign as coach, Lemonis gave Olympiacos their first away win in the competition against SV Werder Bremen, and a trip to the Round of 16 for only the second time in their history in 2007-08.
On 12 November 2008, Lemonis signed a contract for rest of the 2008-09 season and replaced Ewald Lienen as the head coach of Panionios. He finally resigned on 3 December 2008 after the refuse of the Panionio's board to accept his request to dismiss three members of Panionio's coaching and management staff.
On 17 March 2009, he signed a two-year contract with Omonia. In 2010, Lemonis led Omonoia to its 20th Championship.
Palmeras as player
* Greek Championship (4): 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987
* Greek Championship (4): 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008
* Cypriot Championship: 2010
1. ^ "Takis Lemonis Leaves Panionios". Goal.com. December 3, 2008. http://www.goal.com/en/news/117/greece/2008/12/04/995434/takis-lemonis-leaves-panionios. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
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