Football

Mainz sign Greek goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino

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Kapino in action.  (©GettyImages)
Kapino in action. (©GettyImages).

FSV Mainz 05 have completed the signing of ex-Panathinaikos goalkeeper, Stefanos Kapino, on a four-year deal. 

The Greece International will join the Bundesliga side today (Thursday) when they begin their pre-season training.

Coach, Kasper Hjulmand is pleased to have brought in such a young talent who he believes will be fighting against the other two young keepers in the squad for a first team place. 

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Hjulmand said, according to the official Bundesliga website: "He may still be young, but he already has extraordinary composure and experience. With Loris, Stefanos and Robin, we now have three very young goalkeepers with a lot of potential in our squad."

International recognition

Kapino is just 20 years of age and was flown out with the Greece National squad to Brazil for this summer's World Cup. Unfortunately, in a tournament where a lot of goalkeepers have been gaining recognition for their brilliant performances, Kapino didnt get to feature in their journey to the round of 16.

He has made two appearances for his country and his debut came when he was just 17 against Romania in 2011, where he became the youngest player to appear for Greece. They lost 3-1 and he was forced to wait until this year for his second appearance.

Before making it into the senior squad, he spent two years playing regularly in the Under 21 squad.

Domestic form

Last season, the young shot-stopper became a more regular feature in the Panathinaikos side as they clinched a spot in the Champions League through the play-offs despite finishing fourth in the table. 

Mainz have a very young selection of goalkeepers for the upcoming season, with the addition of Kapino. He will join Robin Zentner, who is 19 and current first choice, and Loris Karius, who is 20. 

Although it is admirable that Hjulmand is putting his faith in a trio of youngsters, the decision could backfire as there is a lot more pressure on the side this year after gaining a place in the Europa League. They finished seventh last season, but they conceded the most goals out of all the teams in the top eight. 

A great team

The new Greek arrival is pleased however to be joining an ambitious coach and he also believes in what the club are looking to achieve. 

"My goal was to move to a club where I had very good perspectives," said the 20-year-old. "In Mainz, I'm joining a great team and an ambitious coach. Mainz convinced me that I could take the next step here and that I fit in perfectly with the philosophy of the team and the club.

"I'm going to be part of a team which likes to play attractive football and is hungry for success. I'm already looking forward to my first game in a Mainz shirt."

Jara signing

Also joining the club is ex-Nottingham Forest defender, Gonzalo Jara. The Chilean, who played at this year's World Cup has left the Championship side on a two-year deal with the option to sign on for a further year.

Jara is remembered for missing the decisive spot kick in the penalty shoot out against Brazil in the round of 16 after the match had finished 1-1. 

The 28 year-old has already joined up with his team mates at the  Rhineland club. 

Topics:
Bundesliga
Football
Gonzalo Jara
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