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Pantelis Kafes

Pantelis Kafes (born on June 24 1978 in Veria, Greece) is a retired Greek football player. Being a talented defensive midfield player, Pantelis Kafes has won acclaim for his creative abilities and excellent passing skills. He is, however, a pretty inconsistent performer which keeps him from breaking into the National squad.

He started playing professional football in January 1995 at the age of 17 for Pontioi Veria. The club were relegated to the third division that summer and the following May were demoted again. The one shining light was Kafes, who joined PAOK FC in January 1997.

Kafes burst on to the Alpha Ethniki scene in 1998/99, scoring seven times. He continued to impress and was instrumental in PAOK's Greek Cup triumph in 2001. Again one of PAOK's outstanding performers in 2002/03, Kafes helped the club to a fourth-placed finish and also took his tally of UEFA Cup appearances to 21. Kafes was also well known for wearing the jersey #1, normally worn by goalkeepers. Yet his spell in Thessaloniki ended acrimoniously as he was released from his contract after a dispute over unpaid wages. Olympiakos CFP stepped in with a three-year contract.

He was ever-present in his first season at Olympiakos as they finished second in the Alpha Ethniki in 2003, and made his first UEFA Champions League appearances, five in all.

Played in the majority of Olympiakos' league matches on their way to the domestic double, and only a mid-season injury preventing him from matching his record in Europe, where he took part in all of the club's Champions League and UEFA Cup games.

Likewise for next season, 2005-2006, where he played 22 domestic league games, earned another double and scored two truly memorable tieing goals from the edge of the box for Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League- however they both earned no points for his team, as both games ended 2-1.

On January 29, 2007, and after he had fallen out of favor at then league frontrunner Olympiakos, he transferred to AEK on a two-and-a-half year contract. He remained at AEK until the end of the 2012 season, after which he signed for Veria FC.

Kafes has been a standard call-up in the Greek national side during his career. He made his debut against Croatia in April 2001 and scored his first goal against Austria in Vienna in March 2003, following it up with another in an August victory against Sweden. Made two appearances in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying, and was in the finals squad - but did not play - as Greece claimed the championship. He remained a squad regular since. He played his 40th and last international match in 2011. In those matches Kafes scored three goals, all in friendlies (the other one was against Hungary).

Kafes won a total of 2 Greek Championships during his career (2004/2005 and 2005/2006 with Olympiakos and 5 Greek Cups (2001 and 2003 with PAOK FC, 2005 and 2006 with Olympiakos and 2011 with AEK).

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