KALANTZIS TO RECEIVE SOCCEROO CAP
In the upcoming Dodoni Series, Caltex Socceroos’ clashes with Greece and it will be made more fun for ex-Australian star Chris Kalantzis.
The former Socceroo would be well-known to many Greek Australians for his exploits in the 1980s and ‘90s both here in Australia and also in Greece. The very talented Kalantzis started his career with Sydney Olympic in the NSL, making his first-team debut as a 16-year-old under legendary coach Frank Arok.
However, it was in Greece where the flamboyant attacker really made his mark, spending five years at each of the country’s two biggest clubs, first Panathinaikos and then Olympiakos. The player says he enjoys watching the game after a successful career home and abroad.
He says he can’t wait for the visit of the Greek national team next month. Kalantzis will be part of a special presentation at half-time of the game in Sydney with a cap for his career in the Green and Gold. The latest StanJames betting odds have Australia as firm favourites, inspite of playing away from home.
Kalantzis said “It’s such an honour and very big for me. I left here when I was very young and having a Greek background and playing there for 10 years, to be back here and for this to happen now is big for me. It’s been a while, I thought maybe I have been forgotten about,” he joked.
“A lot of Greeks are prepared to go to the game as well as they love their football so it will be a special night.”
Kalantzis had his big break came after representing the Australian under-20 side at the World Youth Cup in Russia in 1985, while also performing well for Olympic. He went on to play 15 games for the Socceroos over the next couple of years, scoring a goal against China, before signing with Panathinaikos and spending the next decade in Greece.
Kalantzis returned to Sydney Olympic in 1997 to finish out his career in the NSL and – now 48 – is still involved in the game in Sydney. Kalantzis is currently coaching the Under 18 team at Dunbar and says he is willing to help out Australian football.