The Panathinaikos defender Kostas Triantafyllopoulos, in his interview for the official website of the www.superleaguegreece.net, pointed out that "the bar was set really high this season, following our campaign last year. Therefore, the minimum set was to achieve the same level and, if possible, reach even higher," whereas he also highlighted the importance of the academies: "Panathinaikos are doing an exceptional job in grassroots and the results are obvious each year, with new players constantly coming from there!" Kostas Triantafyllopoulos was also really praising of the club's fans for their support and said that "they prove their love both on and off the pitch to the maximum. Following that, we feel the same way and we try to offer them the joy they want to see on the pitch."
The full interview of Kostas Triantafyllopoulos:
Question by Nikolas Panayotopoulos
What was the goal set by the club at the beginning of the season?
"We said from the beginning that we should set the bar really high this season, following our campaign last year. Therefore, the minimum set was to achieve the same level and, if possible, reach even higher. Whatever this means… And, of course, to do this while playing good football!"
Question by Yorgos Triadis
Given that the first half of the Championship is over, what do you believe you did well as a team and what should you improve?
"The first thing is that we have amassed points compared to last season and also the fact that we are more creative. On the other hand, we need to greatly improve some occasional flat moments in our game that cost us points and matches."
Panathinaikos are one of the clubs that help and promote players. Are grassroots the most important factor for a healthy club, in your opinion?
"They definitely are! This is the most important factor in a club and Panathinaikos have achieved this to the fullest. "They are doing an exceptional job in grassroots and the results are obvious each year, with new players constantly coming from there!"
Question by Kostas Svigos and Spyros Tsamitas
Which central centre back do you admire and why? Also, which top striker would you like to play against?
"My icon since I was a boy is Carles Puyol. I grew up admiring him and I still do. The player I would like to play against is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, because he is such a complete player. You cannot challenge Messi and Ronaldo; but maybe I could do something against Zlatan."
Question by Giorgos Haritonos
Who are your favourite Greek and foreign players respectively?
"I admire the morals and player quality of Nikos Lymperopoulos. It is rare to have a player who combines all this. For the same reason, among the foreign players, I would say I admire Krzysztof Warzycha who is a player with a great personality."
Question by Nikolas Manolis, Konstantinos Papanikos, Hristos Ant.
We see that you are playing both as a right back as well as a centre back. Which position do you think you are better at and why?
"I believe that I can perform better as a stopper and this position is more… comfortable for me! This is the position I have been familiar with since I was young and I also believe I am better built for it…"
Question by Sokratis-Dimitris Hronopoulos
How do you see your performance as a Panathinaikos player so far and what aspects can you improve, in your opinion?
"In my three years as a player for the club, I believe I have gradually improved, over time, in many aspects. I of course still need to work on certain areas; I work every day on them together with my coaches, both during matches as well as during training sessions."
Question by Yannis Tsakiridis
How did you feel when it was announced to you that you were going to sign your first contract as a professional player?
"You are taking me a long way back now… First of all, I felt I was achieving the first goal I had ever since I was a young kid, ever since I was going to Peania. I was of course exceptionally happy, but this is was also the beginning for my next goal. This goal was to be promoted to the first team and to start playing with them!"
What are your hobbies?
"I usually relax. I usually stay at home with friends… We then go for a coffee or to the movies. I am not a fan of… extreme situations really."
Question by Dimitra Petridou
What is your greatest football dream?
"To have a good career; if possible, to play abroad for a great club and then return to Greece and finish my career in Panathinaikos!"
Were you not a footballer, what would you rather be and why?
"I would have studied to enter a university school in order to become… a military man or something like that! I like discipline and rules."
What would you like to say to the fans and supporters of Panathinaikos?
"First of all that our fans and supporters are amazing! They prove their love both on and off the pitch to the maximum. Following that, we feel the same way and we try to offer them the joy they want to see on the pitch… They should therefore know that we will continue to do this!"
THE WINNER OF THE DRAW FOR THE SIGNED SOUVENIR BY KOSTAS TRIANTAFYLLOPOULOS, OFFERED BY FC PANATHINAIKOS, IS MR SOKRATIS-DIMITRIS HRONOPOULOS