Papadopoulos was born in 1960. He played for AE Larisa from 1979 until 1984 when he was acquired by AEK. He played for AEK until 1988 when his career there came to an abrupt end amid much controversy: Prior to a Greek Football Cup game against Olympiakos, it was revealed that sources close to Olympiakos President George Koskotas had tried to bribe several AEK players, among them Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had a poor game against Olympiakos in an upset 1-3 loss, and earned the suspicion of the fans and several of his teammates, some of whom stated they would never play again alongside him. AEK released him but the athletic courts of Greece controversially allowed him to continue his career at Panionios.