« Whoever has more determination and emotional control will pass », says Salpingidis, one of the players who was part of Panathinaikos’ last title, about the Greek club’s tie with Braga
Who can forget Salpingidis, an exponent of Greek football at the beginning of the century, an intractable scorer with 82 caps, 136 goals in his country’s league out of a total of 215, shining especially at PAOK and also at Panathinaikos, between 2006 and 2010? He was a beacon on the way to the 2009/10 title, the last achieved by the historic Athens side. He scored 12 goals, offering goalkeeping instinct, ferocity over defenders. He was a name plotted to reproduce, it was even more plotted to stop. O JOGO managed to talk to the former striker, now 42 years old, away from football without drama.
« Life after football is beautiful, I have a very special family to which I dedicate myself fully. I have strong feelings for PAOK and Panathinaikos, I am still looking forward to what they are doing. I had very important moments with both teams and I am very grateful », underlines Salpingidis , recalling the last title won by Panathinaikos. With him in the cast, just like Seitaridis, Katsouranis or Karagounis.
« It was a great year for everyone, one of the most important of my career. It was fantastic to compete alongside great teammates, life partners that I will never forget », recalls the striker, finally speaking of Panathinaikos-Braga, who will decide access to the millionaire Champions .
« Panathinaikos is at a very important turning point in its history. It has a very good coach and a quality group. After many years, it is once again one step away from the group stage of the Champions League. If it succeeds, it will be part of of the reward for the effort of two years. The result of Braga shows that everything is open, I see 50-50. Whoever has more determination and greater emotional control in the tie, will be happier », maintains Salpingidis.
« Portuguese teams in Europe are always at a high level, it’s very difficult to face them. You have to be mentally prepared and have the luck factor on your side », warns the former striker, who at the age of 21 faced Leixões in the Cup Winners’ Cup .