Hagiandreou, Ferlemi brothers, Peppas.
First Twenty Team:
Mantalozis: The greatest goalie in Greek soccer history and the greatest player in Ethnikos history. Only Pegaropoulos of Paniono can stand next to him. If he was born in Spain, Italy or England, the world would know his name. Too many stories to mention, but here is one: He was best friends with Mouratis of osfp. One day Mouratis bet him that Vazos would score against him. At one point, Vazos was alone against him, but Mantalozis stopped him. And as Vazos was walking away from the area, Mantalozis called him and threw the ball to him saying, "come on, try again". Vazos was surprised, but he took the ball and tried to score again, all alone. Mantalozis stopped him once more and Mouratis started laughing. And this was not a friendly game. It was for real!
Arvanitis: The second greatest goalie in Ethnikos history. An excellent reflex keeper, surprised the shooter with his ability to go high or low, very quickly. Gave a great show every game he played. Grabbed by osfp.
Elefderiadis: A back of the modern soccer. He could defend, attack, close spaces, and was mistake free game after game. Pappaioanou had called him "the best defender I face in the Greek fields". Grabbed by pao, but towards the end.
Kremmidas: A complete libero (and stopper). Tall, strong, with leadership qualities. For 20 years, Ethnikos eleven names started from him. Ethnikos captain many times
Kapsis: The stopper of the Euro 2004 championship. As good as they get in this position. Grabbed by aek
Klikopoulos: The Kapsis of the 50's. He was almost 2 meters tall and center-fors hated playing against him.
Kourantis: The greatest right back in Greece before the war. Grabbed by osfp.
Zourntos: Kourantis' successor, both in Ethnikos and National team. One of the greatest backs of all time.
Karnasopoulos: One of the foundations of the real champions of the 50s. The ball started from him before going to the lethal attackers of that team.
Antonatos: A legend in the middle. Many goals, strong legs, good director of the game. He also loved to fight in a second's notice and not too many opponents messed with him.
Helmis G.: The greatest center-half in Greece before 1950, period. Grabbed by osfp.
Ilounga: A small "Tigana". He could play 3 games, not one. Stayed in Ethnikos for many years and was a fan favorite for his effort and game. Belongs to the all time Ethnikos greats for many reasons, but more than anything his work ethic.
Ioannou: One of the great Greek halfs of the 40s and 50s. Grabbed by osfp.
Nikiforakis: Captain of the team for many years. He played in the great teams of the 60s and was the leader of attack.
Houmis: The greatest attacker in Ethnikos history. He and osfp's Vazos were the attacking duo of the National team before the war. In 1935, he was the top scorer with 15 goals, while the second place guy had 6!! He was always in the top scorers, but since osfp was usually going to the playoffs, everyone now knows Vazo and few fans know him. He is the first Greek player to have ever played abroad. He scored 7 goals in 9 games with the National team, nobody ever came close to this level of scoring efficiency. After a game against Rumania where he scored 2 goals, the Rumanians gave him everything he asked and he moved there, where he had a great career and he is considered among the greatest attackers to ever play in Rumania. What a shame that few people today know the man who might have been the greatest Greek attacker of all time.
Hatgioanoglou: If he was playing for POK, he would be a permanent member of the National team. He was exactly what an extreme attacker should look like. Fast, smart, great scorer (first in Ethnikos history), but the biggest thing was his acceleration. He could take off from standing like nobody had seen in Greece before him. Grabbed by osfp, but towards the end.
Kalkantera: He was the top scorer in 1975 with 20 goals, and would have broken every scoring record in his career, if a punk in Serres did not break his leg on the first game of 1976. He was never the same player after that and missed a great career in Greece, but he remains and will always be a legend. For some reason, his name is connected to Ethnikos' fans of all ages and will always be so. The pillar of the great 75 team.
Kritikopoulos: Unfortunately left Ethniko for osfp the year before the great 1974-75 team. He would have won the title with Ethnikos, since nobody in the Greek championship would be able to deal with Kritikopoulo, Kalkantera, Hatgionaglou in the same line, not even paraga (well, maybe not. Paraga always finds a way). Looked like a horse running in the free space. Has tied up a 0-3 game with PAO with 3 goals, one of them an all time highlight, passing everyone on his way and finally the goalie. Grabbed by osfp
Benardos: A left attacker from hell. They called him "twister" (svoura), for his moves, low center of gravity and great dribble. Shined with the real Greek champions of the 50s..
Karaoulanis: The "Houmis" of the 50s. Scored at will inside the area and was the the most dangerous of many dangerous attackers Ethnikos had then (Vavoulas, Lekatsas, Lepatos, Bourletidis, Grafas, Bernardos, etc.) Ethnikos could have manned two teams in the same year and finish 1-2. What a deep team! And Karaoulanis was the best of all those great attackers.
Second Twenty Team:
Zantiotis: The first great goalie of the team. Dominated in late twenties and thirties, won the cup, was manning the National team and was a legend at his own time. He passed the reigns to the great Mantalozis.
Doxakis: The last great goalie of Ethnikos and played in the last good team of Ethnikos (88)
Vamvakousis: Continued Elefderiadis tradition in the corner back. A reliable defender and dangerous offender. As fast as they come.
Kozompolis: Stayed with Ethnikos for 16 years, through many great teams, and was always the left back. Opponents did not like going to his side of the field and usually was left alone to help the others.
Papazoglou: Succeeded Kozompolis and was just as good. He liked attacking even more, and he started the modern back-attack that Elefderiadis followed later.
Armodoros: Continued Ethnikos great tradition in the left back position. Grabbed by aek.
Stamatakis D: Another one of Ethnikos captains. Center back, very strong high and low, with a great career in the team.
Hatzioannidis: Ethnikos for life. Played in the great teams of the 60s, became a coach, management, and served Ethnikos every way he could. He died in 2005 and will live forever in the team.
Ardizoglou: Uncle of the later star Christos of aek -- had a beautiful shot, stride and dribble. Too bad we have no videos yet, since they say he was playing the center like his nephew in Apollon did later.
Laimos: One of the foundations of the 50s teams. More quiet than the other stars, but everyone knew his value. A great player.
Denef: Played for Ethnikos just 3 years and just missed the great teams of the seventies. But he was one of our best centers ever. Has scored a goal before the half line, when he saw the goalie out of position. Great center half.
Niniadis: The last great "number 10" Ethnikos produced. Went on to osfp (naturally), but not before he gave the fans a last taste of what a great Ethnikos player is like.
Hangeandreou: The founder, the first captain, the first captain of the first National team in 1920, the greatest scorer of his era, but few outside Ethnikos know his name. But if he had served the paraga, everyone would know his name today. Ethnikos' father.
Mitropoulos: Left Ethniko too soon, but went on to continue his great career. Rarely played in the National team before going to osfp, never missed a game after he moved... Grabbed by osfp.
Vavoulas: With Lekatsa below, they were the top attacking duo of the team in the 40s and early 50s. Came to Ethniko from Crete, and he was as tough as you would expect from a Cretian!
Lekatsas: The top Ethnikos scorer before first division started. He had more goals in the National team than the games he played! He played 3 games and he scored 4 goals. We guess he was not good enough to play more than 3 times in our National team of paraga. They had to put their "stars" in there and justify their "championships".
Batista: Ridiculed PAO (3-6) at his house with the best game of his career. Greek midfields had not seen something like that. Lethal moves from anywhere close to the area. Grabbed by aek without a penny!
Tsiritakis: The star next to Houmis in the 30s. The third best attacker of his time in Greece behind Houmis and Vazos.
Anastasiou: The last great attacker of Ethnikos. Made it all the way to Ajax (wears its uniform in the picture).
Bourletidis: With the rest of the great attackers of the 50s, they would split middle attack and forward positions and bring chaos to the defense. Ethnikos was winning games with 4 and 5 goals in a regular base. The 50s team had too much firepower for the rest of the league. And for fans outside the paraga, this team won two championships.
There are no players above who became big names with other teams BEFORE coming to Ethnikos, like Filakouris or Ingoglou, or came to Ethnikos past their prime. Only people who became big names in Ethnikos appear here. There have been many other great players, but the above shined under Ethniko first.
Some other of those big names that Ethnikos had at one point or another: Filakouris, Ingoglou, Leventakos, Ioakimidis, Valianos, Foulatsiklis, Diamantopoulos and more.
Other notables with long career and/or impact offer to Ethniko:
Moutafis, Labrinos, Papadopoulos, Katsikogiannis, Grafas, Peppas, Mpatsinilas, Tountas, Chelmis B, Zantiotis, Karaiskos, Kottidis, Tourkomenis, Ferlemis brothers, Tseregof, Rorbach, Spathoulas, Lapatos, Deligiorgis, Alexopoulos, Tsiritakis I, Stouras, Kritikos, Georgaras, Kontaxis, Pappas and more.
No ex-players of osfp or pao are mentioned anywhere. They were useless when they came to Ethnikos anyway (Koureas, who sucked the second round of 75, Joutsos who needed a cane to play and some other over the hill losers). Ethnikos kept feeding paraga with guys in their prime and getting leftovers in return. Ethnikos gave them Helmis, Mitropoulos, Kritikopoulos, Arvanitis, Ioannou, Kourantis, Niniadis, Armodoros, Doxakis and countless more. The only exception from the paraga is Fylakouris, someone who loved and still loves Ethniko. A truly good guy and a great player with no fear in his heart, who offered much in his time in Pireas, even at the end of his career. We will always love Toti!
Some players who played in their national team:
Mantalozis, Arvanitis, Elefderiadis, Kremmidas, Kapsis, Klikopoulos, Kourantis, Zourntos, Karnasopoulos, Antonatos, Helmis G., Ilounga, Ioannou, Nikiforakis, Houmis, Hatgioanoglou, Kalkantera, Kritikopoulos, Mitropoulos, Karaoulanis, Zantiotis, Kozompolis, Papazoglou, Laimos, Denef, Niniadis, Vavoulas, Batista, Tsiritakis, Anastasiou, Filakouris, Ingoglou, Leventakos, Ioakimidis, Valianos and many more. Of course many more would have, if they ever played in a paraga team during their careers. Only when a German coach named Otto came and was not manning the team from paraga's instructions, we finally succeeded in 2004.
Players who played abroad:
Anastasiou (Ajax). Houmis (Rumania). Mantalozis was offered by Italian clubs but did not accept.
Players who are arguably in the best 20 of
Mantalozis, Helmis, Kourantis, Kritikopoulos, Houmis.
Players with European championships:
Kapsis (Euro 2004)
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