Nobody can doubt that the Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou is a gifted and talented player. His recent transfer to Fulham F.C proves it. The Greek explosive striker penned a contract that will keep him at the Cottagers for 4 and a half years. This transfer was the most expensive in Greece’s football history.
But what about the man who discovered the Greek striker and put faith in his abilities when no one else did?
His name is Kostas Melikidis who is a former professional footballer of the historic team of Greece, Doksa Dramas. Mr. Melikidis lives in Germany permanently for the last 20 years and is the man who discovered Kostas Mitroglou.
Mitroglou loved football since he was a young boy. First he started playing for the Neukirchen-Vluyn team. In 2002 and when Kostas was only 13 years old, his father introduced him to coach Melikidis. The same year, Mitroglou joined MSV Duisburg U17 squad and after four seasons with the club he joined Borussia Mönchengladbach U19 squad.
Then, Tasos Melikidis decided to bring Kostas to Greece. He personally recommended him to Michalis Iordanidis who was also the assistant manager of Greece U19’s coach, Nikos Nioplias. Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and Mitroglou became a key-player for both Olympiacos and Greece’s National Team.
“It is sad to say that I regret what I have done for Kostas” stated Mr. Melikidis at Newsit. “I have seen the love this child has for football. I remember when Kostas spent a lot of time playing football when he was just a little boy. Every time I used to visit his family, his mother would tell me ‘Kostas is outside somewhere playing football again.’ Before the German football officials convinced Kostas to join the German U19 national team, I brought him over to Greece personally, at my own expense. I thought that such a talent should play for Greece.”
Mr. Melikidis continues. “Kostas has not called me since the day he joined Olympiacos. It’s been 8 years since the last time we spoke on the phone. I expected him to call me and invite me to one of his Champions League games. When a child becomes a mature man, he should think that ‘there was a man in my life who helped me in my early career steps and believed in me, I should call him or send him a letter.’ Kostas showed his indifference towards me all these years. He behaved in an ungrateful way after all the things I have done for him.”