Greece’s next goalkeeping hero: Stefanos Kapino
However, that could be about to change following the recent rise of 17-year-old Panathinaikos shot stopper Stefanos Kapino. Despite being at such a young age, Kapino has already made his national team debut – setting a record for the youngest ever player to represent Greece at senior level in a friendly match against Romania last week. Although he debuted in a 3-1 defeat, Kapino can take plenty of confidence from the fact that coach Fernando Santos was willing to hand him such a massive opportunity on the big stage.
Kapino began his career at amateur side Aetos before joining Panathinaikos in 2007 and claiming no.1 spot for the club’s Under 18 and 21 teams. Renowned as a record breaker in his homeland, Kapino made his Greece Under 17 debut at the age of 15.
The goalkeeping gem has also been playing regularly for his club side since the departure of Alexis Tzorvas to Palermo, injury to Stefanos Kotsolis and the suspension of Orestis Karnezis. He even received a rousing reception from the Greens supporters’ (pictured) after keeping a clean sheet against Ergotelis.
At 6’5, Kapino uses his gangly frame well and is dominant in the air and box. His positioning has been second to none in recent Super League games; while supporters have been quick to point out that he has the potential to become one of the best goalies in Europe.
Kapino is spearheading the next wave of goalkeeping talent in Greece and with several European clubs reportedly scouting him, he’ll be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Euro 2004 winner and now retired ‘keeper Antonios Nikopolidis and secure the no.1 jersey for Ethniki.
Picture:Getty ImagesTagged in: football, Greek football, Panathinaikos, Stefanos Kapino
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