Forever members of PAOK family
Sendoffs and changes are part of football, especially nowadays. But saying goodbye is hard. More so when parting ways with four friends…
An important phase closed for PAOK family. Four players left the club, four impressive personalities who contributed to the “Double-Headed Eagle’s” return to success and have become an inextricable part of PAOK’s history.
We start with Stelios Malezas – and rightfully so. The oldest player of the team, a natural-born leader. The centre back from Katerini joined PAOK in 2003, spent a trial period at Irodotos and then returned to establish himself in Toumba Stadium. He played for Greece national team, moved to Germany to experience football in a foreign league and came back in 2015 to settle old scores. He featured in more than 250 matches, scored 5 goals, won one league title and 3 Greek Cups. However it’s impossible to measure his contribution to PAOK’s success only with numbers…
One more skipper left the club. Volos-born goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos was at PAOK for 12 years. He joined the club in 2007, played on loan for Olympiakos Volos and Agrotikos Asteras for two seasons, before making a name for himself defending PAOK’s goal. He played in 165 encounters, was voted season MVP in 2016-17, celebrated one league title and three Greek Cups and overcame several obstacles, always landing stronger on his feet.
The other two players have a lot in common. They arrived at Thessaloniki together in the summer of 2016. They came from different countries, from different cultures, but… as one.
Yevhen Shakhov and José Alberto Cañas proved valuable tools for PAOK in the last three seasons. The Ukrainian conjured up 21 goals and 7 assists in 117 games. He would fly under the radar off the pitch, but was as useful as a Swiss knife on it. Passionate, intense and consistent, he helped a lot both in defence and attack.
The Spaniard, on the other hand, brought his quality and his unique madness to the table. His shouts, laughs, jokes and sunny disposition prevailed even in difficult circumstances for the team. Such qualities were very beneficial for the team, almost as important as his incessant runs and top performances.
He featured in 91 games and scored his first four goals on a professional level.
Stelios, Panagiotis, Yevhen and José Alberto, we thank you for everything you did. It has been an honour…