The BEST GOAL award for the 1st matchday was awarded on Thursday, September 13, to Stefanos Athanasiadis playing for PAOK, who topped the competition organised by Super League, the Panhellenic Association of Professional Players (PSAP) and NOVA.
After the ceremony, the PAOK player stated:
"When you start the 1st matchday with an award, you are undoubtedly overjoyed. I simply want to point out that it is maybe I that is receiving this award, but it goes all the guys, because without your teammates you cannot do anything significant. And that is why the guys also deserve it."
- The feelings must be mixed because you started well, scored quite a few goals, but things did not turn out as well in terms of results.
"Yeah… we certainly started well, but I believe that after being eliminated from Europa League, some wind was taken of our sails. And then we lost from Atromitos… Now we play on Sunday with Asteras and we must be strong and focused in order to win the three points."
- How was your experience with the National Team?
"Being in the National Team is extraordinary. We started with two victories in two matches and I believe we will be as good in the coming matches too in order to qualify for the World Cup."
- Does the fact that you lost to Asteras twice last year and in fact Asteras was leading by 3 goals from early in the match and essentially remains the same team and has the same coach, worries you? Is there anything specific you worry about? How do you see it?
"What concerns me is the performance of our team. I believe that if we are totally focused and make no mistakes, we have nothing to fear and we will win."
- Do you see it as revenge since it was a defeat that cost you a lot?
"No, I would not say revenge, there is no revenge, each match is different and we face each one as we go."
- Whether you like it or not, scoring is now on you, at least in the matches played so far. During the last two matches, PAOK was not able to score. Can you explain that?
"I believe we were unlucky and that is why we could not score. We train every day, we work hard on finishing as well and I believe that eventually the goals will come."
- Given the period between matchdays in the competition, the fact that you did not play in the National Team matches, the fact that you try to put the negative results behind you, the fact that most probably the new stock holder of the majority will be in Toumba on Sunday, are all these an additional motive to win, to take this match, to put this bad period behind you?
"Certainly, the unlucky results we had in the previous two matches make us want to start again with a victory and continue with positive results in the competition.
- Is it special for you that the new stock holder of the majority will be at the match?
"We are happy that he will come to see us play."