The 2019/20 season was a break through season for South African teenager Christos Retsos.
He came through to the first team of Greek Super League side Panionios Athens in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength in the Greek topflight this season.
The graduate of the Mpumalanga Black Aces academy says the move to Greece was motivated by the fact that many great players started their careers in Greece before moving to bigger leagues in Europe.
“It’s definitely a route I want to take and a route I think is paved a way that if you work hard enough towards your goals you can move up to a higher league in Europe like many other great players have done over the years,” said Retsos.
The 19-year-old explained what kind of league the Greek league is and what it takes to succeed there. “I think it’s a very defensive league, most teams play a defensive style of football. If you want to play in this league no matter what position you play you have to learn your role in defence. Coming from South Africa which they play very attacking football I struggled in the beginning in my defensive role, but I worked a lot on it and believe I now fulfill my defensive duties well,”he explained.
“You need to be an overall good player to be able to compete because there are a few teams that play at a Champions League level so you need to be able to keep up physically, technically and tactically,” he continued.
Greek fans are known for their passion and creating a good atmosphere in the stands and Retsos also shared his experience so far in the league having played some of the big clubs.
“I think the best team to play with or against is definitely Olympiacos, the atmosphere and emotion is out of this world. They have the most fans in the country and the atmosphere in the stadium competes against any other atmosphere in the world. I was fortunate enough to make my professional league debut against them in their stadium. I also have to give credit to Aris Thessaloniki, we played an away game there this season and the atmosphere and energy from the fans was unreal.”
Retsos also took time to exclusively reveal to FARPost that his performances in the league this season have earned him a new deal.
“Now with the season finished it was definitely a really good season for me especially moving up to the first team so soon – to top it all off I just signed a new three-year-deal so I’ll be with Panionios until June 2023.”
By Prince Sobayeni