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Kostas Mitroglou

7 years in pictures (2007-14)

Story by SPORT 24 January 30th, 2014

THE EARLY DAYS

Kostas Mitroglou rises as a young prodigy in the U-19 Greek squad scoring 3 of its 5 goals in the competition. Greece beat Germany 3-2 to reach the final where they lost 1-0 to Spain.

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BACK TO the HOMELANd (2007-08)

Mitroglou (aged 19) had spent a big part of his childhood in Germany and was playing for Gladbach’s under 19 side (14 goals in 10 matches). Thanks to his Euro U-19 performances he signed a contract with Olympiacos and scored 7 goals in 18 games in all competitions during his first season at the club. The reds would not have won the championship that season but for his crucial last minute winning goal vs Larissa.

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THAT MISSED PENALTY IN CYPRUS

August 13th, 2008: Trailing 2-0 to Anorthosis in the 1st leg of their Champions League qualifying tie, Olympiacos won a penalty. Mitroglou insisted on taking it but missed. Olympiacos lost 3-0 and could not come back in the 2nd leg. His relationship with his coach Ernesto Valverde, much-loved by Olympiacos' fans, never recovered. As a result Mitroglou saw reduced minutes. He only started 6 games that season.

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THE BRACE VS PANATHINAIKOS

His break-out season: 14 goals in 45 games, playing under Ketsbaia, Zico and Bandovic. He did not only become the main striker of Olympiacos's attack but also a fan favorite thanks to his scoring of two goals against rivals Panathinaikos which were accompanied by his (now trademarked) "pistol" celebration. The goal pictured below is career-highlight material.

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ON LOAN PART 1: PANIONIOS (2011)

Valverde returned in Piraeus and Mitroglou went back to the bench. In the first half of the season he only played 10 games (scored once). He went on loan to Panionios in January. The club were seriously threatened with relegation but he regained both his confidence and scoring touch (8 goals in 11 league games) to keep them in the top flight of the Superleague.

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ON LOAN PART 2: ATROMITOS (2011-2012)

It was obvious. Mitroglou could not co-exist with Ernesto Valverde. When the Spanish manager renewed his contract, Mitroglou hit the road again, joining Atromitos on loan. He was the top goalscorer and super-star of the team with 16 goals in 28 league matches while he also scored two cup goals as Atromitos made their second ever cup final appearance that season (went down to Olympiacos in the last minute of extra time). His then coach, Yorgos Donis, is credited with Mitroglou's metamorphosis into a striker with improved stamina and a tactical nous.

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BACK TO THE RED & WHITE (2012-13)

Kostas returned to Olympiacos better than ever and ready to shine. Leonardo Zardim gave him the chance and he never looked back. Even when the Portuguese was succeeded by Mitchell he did not look back, setting career season highs in appearances (42) and goals (20). His personal highlight was a magnificent header against Arsenal at the Emirates (he scored 4 goals in the Champions League group stage).

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“NITROGLOU” (2013-14)

Michell made a bold call: He would built his offense around Mitroglou and Kostas rose to the challenge scoring 17 goals in 19 games, including four hat tricks. He led the Greek League in scoring and continued finding the net in the Champions League where he scored a hat-trick in Brussels vs Anderlecht.

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No 9 - road to brazil

If Mitroglou shined with Olympiacos, he really thrived when wearing the blue-and-white of Greece. He quickly became Fernando Santos’ primary attacking option. His crucial goals (scored 3 of Greece’s 4 goals in the play offs vs Romania) led the national team to Brazil’s World Cup finals.

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Footnote: This is a photo story by Sport24.gr for Kostas Mitroglou, the much coveted Greek striker. He is a former football player of Olympiacos FC who signed with Fulham FC in January 2014