Fanis Christodoulou spoke about his transfer to Panathinaikos, his injury and his decision not to be paid the second year of his contract.
We are all here, we are all Stoiximan
Excerpt from what he said on ‘Trace ‘n Chase’:
What impressed you at Panathinaikos in the summer of ’97?
“I was Panathinaikos! I was a Panathinaikos kid. I have never hidden it. When the moment came to leave Panionios, I had two options. AEK wanted me and Panathinaikos. I couldn’t choose AEK, since I was Panathinaikos! There I went. Of course, there was also the pressure from the pardoned Giannakopoulos. I couldn’t do otherwise, but I wanted to go to Panathinaikos».
The case of Panathinaikos has several aspects. You only played one year, because of the injury, the problems?
“Yes, the achilles was cut. It is what we say that the operation was successful, but the patient died. The operation was done, but I had post-operative thrombosis and was immobilized for a year. In bed, motionless. I couldn’t do anything to fix my blood. There I gained weight and until I came back… Then Bodiroga came in, he was about to come again and he said “come and play together, I want to play together”. I could not. I had gained a lot of weight from the immobility. I say “at 32 again from the beginning…”. And there I call it quits».
A second aspect is that you are probably the only player on the planet who did not accept to be paid for the second year of his contract. The Giannakopoulos, the pardoned ones, went crazy with this decision.
“They said so! Others thought it was stupid on my part. Thanasis used to say that whenever he met me. “You are the best kid, you gave us money.” I say “Mr. Thanasis, don’t say that, because others say that I have done something very stupid”. That’s how I felt, it’s money that hasn’t been earned. That’s still my character, it hasn’t changed».
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