Theodoros Zagorakis is a forgotten football hero

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After eleven long years mostly filled with Spanish domination, it becomes easy to forget the biggest upset in football's history, when Greece won the European Championships.

Captained by Thedoros Zagorakis, the Greeks were considered lucky to even be in the competition, yet alone win it all - but they did.

If it wasn't for Zagorakis none of this would have been possible; he is truly a forgotten hero to the sport of football.

Zagorakis was a defensive midfielder who started his career off in 1988 playing for Kavala in the Greek Third Division, he was an important part of helping the team get into the Greek Second Division. He had six goals and 114 appearances for Kavala before being transfered in 1993 to PAOK.

PAOK is where Zagorakis played the most games for any club, from 1993-1998 Theo made 155 appearances, scoring 10 goals during that time and captaining the team for his last two seasons before trying his hand in England, he made his move in December 1997 to Leicester City.


Zagorakis' tenure in Leicester was short lived, he spent two years there and played in two consecutive League Cup Finals, losing the first to Tottenham and winning the second against Tranmere Rovers.

Zagorakis made 50 appearances for the English club, scoring three times. In the end, Zagorakis wasn't happy with his playing time at the club and returned to Greece in 2000, joining AEK Athens.

AEK Athens had a very strong team in the Greek League, seeing Zagorakis play alongside fellow Greek stars, including; Michalis Kapsis, Vassilis Lakis, Demis Nikolaidis and Vassilios Tsiartas.

Zagorakis made 101 appearances for Athens, scoring on four occasions and helped the team win the Greek Cup in 2002 over rivals, Olympiacos. Theo would then test his skills in the Italian, Serie A, making the move in July 2004 to Bologna.

Bologna was filled with excitement when acquiring Zagorakis from AEK Athens. Bologna vice-president, Tommaso Gazzoni Frascara told the news, "Zagorakis is our Greek Baggio".

An amazing comparison to say the least. Zagorakis was a regular with Bologna until they got relegated to Serie B, as they could no longer afford Theo Zagorakis. Theo made 32 appearances for the Italian team before returning to PAOK in Greece, where his legacy really started.

Zagorakis returned to PAOK for a cut price and spent two seasons there, thousands greeted the icon when he arrived. His return did not come at the greatest time as the club was having financial and administrative issues. He played with PAOK until 2007, making 45 appearances.

Success with Greece

Club competitions are what made Theodoros Zagorakis a Greek legend, but international competitions are what made Zagorakis a world wide hero.

Zagorakis was the leader and captain of a Greek side that saw them win the 2004 Euro Cup. Many believe, if not for Zagorakis, there would be no cup. Zagorakis won the player of the tournament award at Euro 2004, a great, but deserving honour.

Theo made 120 appearances for the Greek National side, second of all time behind former Greek captain, Giorgios Karagounis. 

Not a goalscorer but a defensive midfield anchor and a leader amongst men, that is what Theodoros Zagorakis was.

A living legend and modern day hero, that is what Theodros Zagorakis is.

Is Greece's win at Euro 2004 the biggest upset in international football history? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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