by Christos Sotirakopoulos

Thessaloniki – Quite unexpectedly the world inside Greece has been impressed by the abilities of a young guy that his presence in the Top 100 of the Golden Boy Award, next to the world’s top talents, such as Musiala, Bellingham and Gavi is taking shape and is making him a name to take notice even outside our territory. 

Greece is not a country that is famous for its football artists. Even the team that surprised the world by winning the European title back in 2004 was full of craftsmen and hard working players. Yiannis Konstantelias, however, is one of the rare exceptions. Some spectator could think he originates from Argentina or Brazil by watching the stuff he produces in training.

He is fast, with excellent technique and footballing audacity in one-on-one situations. A footballer who, at this stage, loves creating chances for his teammates more than scoring himself. After all, many times he doesn’t even have to look up to see the empty spaces.

His perception, his intelligence and his peripheral vision, among the greatest gifts for a footballer, allow him to play as if he has eyes at the back. He is a modern attacking midfielder, who marks and presses like an 8 and has the imagination of a 10 from another era. He’s a gem. He proved it recently, giving an excellent assist in PAOK’s match against AEK for the Greek Super League, while he was lying on the ground. A moment of magic that went around the internet and is a typical example of his contact with the ball. Easily the assist of the season in Greek Stoiximan Super League.

For PAOK, it is a “golden” project. The club already has reportedly received offers close to 20 million euros for his 20-year-old talent. Something that combined with the sales of Tzolis and Yiannoulis, for 11 and 8.5 million euros respectively to Norwich City proves that PAOK, apart from bringing in the good young players in his academies, also doesn’t stop them to blossom. 

There is no reason to rush though. 

Konstantelias made his debut with PAOK in 2021, while on March 24, 2023 he won his international cap  for the first time, with the coach of the Greek national team, Uruguayan Gustavo Poyet, unleashing him against Gibraltar for the qualifiers for EURO 2024. An example of how he counts him as a valuable  member of the national team, despite his young age.

The future is ahead of him. With luck and hard work, his presence on this special and prestigious Golden Boy list will only be the beginning of a consistently frequent engagement of world football with him. Just write down the name: Yiannis Konstantelias.

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