Greeks looking to poach Aussie midfielder

The latest in a procession of Australian players to be wooed by other nations is Haris Stamboulidis with Greece looking to poach the midfielder who has dual nationality.

The 21-year-old has had playing time in Greek football with AEK Athens and is currently in the US playing with the Colorado Rapids in the MLS having exited Melbourne City three years ago.

He has already represented Greece at under-19 level and is understood to be in line for the under-21s, however it is his dream to play for the land of his birth, Australia.

Four years ago he was a component of the Melbourne City National Youth League winning squad and it is rumoured that he was in touch with Olyroos boss Josep Gombau before he left to take the reins at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Stamboulidis is proud of his Greek roots but has made it clear which country he wants to represent.

“My heart lies with Australia, it’s just a matter of whether I can get the opportunity.

“The Greeks are still interested and one of the biggest honours of my career has been to represent Greece.

“But the reality is I just feel closer to Australia.”

Stamboulidis has taken an unusual root to success combining football with the study in the shape of economics at New York’s Ivy League Columbia University. He firmly believes that having a string academic background can only aid him in his quest to make it to the top of professional football.

One of The people he leans on for guidance in balancing the two is former Barcelona treasurer and board member Xavier Sala-I-Martin who is now a renowned economics professor at Columbia University.

“He is my economics growth and development teacher and was sharing with me how Sergio Busquets faced many challenges as a young person.”

Comments are disabled