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Barca signs Young Greek


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I think it was the summer of 96 (+/- a few years). I was in Greece and remember hearing and watching some things on the news about Barcelona signing an 18 year old Greek (striker, I think).

They had interviews with him and his family... etc

Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Who was this kid? Where is he now?

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Guest Protathlitis7

all I know is that there was a young Greek australian who was playing in a park in Barcelona and a scout saw him and he trained with their youth team

but he was much younger than 18...Panos something

also there is another greek-australian wonder kid coming up, terry Antonis:

He has a sponsorship with adidas and scouts from French and English football giants Marseille and Liverpool are drooling. He is being touted as Australia's answer to Wayne Rooney and is described by David Beckham as "the freak from Down Under". To everyone else, he is Terry Antonis.

"You are wary of throwing too much on a young boy," says Australia's most capped player and former Socceroos captain, Alex Tobin.

"But he is one of the most outstanding young players that I have seen running around. I have seen him train and he is a gifted football player, one of immense talent without a doubt."

It was in Madrid last year that the Sydney whiz kid, then just 10, caught the eye of Beckham because of the incredible things he can do with a football.

Antonis, who turns 12 next month, and other prodigies from all corners of the globe were carefully handpicked to film a documentary with the England captain and Real Madrid superstar.

He was not just juggling a football but squash balls with his feet, he was as accomplished with his left foot as his right and his technical skills were as good as many of the top players.

So impressed was Beckham in Antonis he affectionately renamed him and took the time to offer some parting advice.

"It was really good fun and it was pretty cool to fly all the way over there and Beckham told me to keep my skills up and to keep going," Antonis said.

Antonis won a world-wide skills competition to spend three days with Beckham to make a training DVD.

In Australia, the competition was run by Channel 7's Today Tonight and one judge to select the Georges Hall youngster ahead of other finalists was Frank Farina.

"He is very young but he has a lot of talent in terms of skill and technique," the former Socceroos coach said yesterday.

"His juggling is very good, he pulled out a squash ball and started juggling that and didn't drop it once, he is very impressive. Whether he progresses with his skills will be something to wait and see."

The romantic version of the story goes, after training with the world's most celebrated player, a jetlagged Antonis flew back into Sydney airport with his father.

A strange man approached, asked if he could accompany them home or buy a coffee. It was an agent.

But while Marseille and Liverpool have "a relationship" with the family, Antonis has his sights set closer to home. "I love watching Dwight Yorke and one day I want to play for Sydney FC and Australia," he said.

His father Peter added: "He has to prove himself before he can play for anyone but I'd certainly like to see him play here, play for Sydney FC and entertain Sydneysiders."

Antonis began kicking the ball around the backyard aged three with his grandmother. He was identified by the Coerver program at five, has since represented Oceania, spent six months training with the NSWIS program and attends Westfields football school twice a week.

"He is 100 per cent more advanced than a Harry Kewell at his age, light years ahead," says Paul Bentvelzen, director of Oceania's Coerver coaching scheme.

"It is amazing what the boy can do with a football. He has the same physical capabilities as a first grade player.

"The international director of Coerver coaching, who works with children at the top clubs all over the world, has never seen a player of his age anywhere with the same physical and technical capabilities as this boy."

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  • 3 months later...

I think it was the summer of 96 (+/- a few years). I was in Greece and remember hearing and watching some things on the news about Barcelona signing an 18 year old Greek (striker, I think).

They had interviews with him and his family... etc

Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Who was this kid? Where is he now?

You must be talking about Anestis (a defender). I don't know where he's gone!
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I think you're talking about Anestis Anastasiadis who is the cousin or something like that of former PAOK and PAO coach Angelos Anastasiadis. He was playing for OFI Creta in 2004, on loan from PAO. What happened afterwards for the gifted left-back, I don't know...

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