Born in Tuzla, Asia Minor, in 1919, Kleanthis Maropoulos was arguably the best player of his period (late 1930s - early 1940s) known affectionately as the "Blond Eagle of AEK".
Led by Maropoulos, alongside players like Tryfon Tzanetis and Kostas Negrepontis, AEK won their first two championships in 1939 and 1940 including the first domestic double by a Greek club.
Unfortunately, the glory years of AEK and Maropoulos were interrupted by the World War II. Maropoulos continued his career after the war and played until the late 1940s.
He was capped 10 times by the National Football Team of Greece. He subsequently managed the Greek National Team in the early 1960s before retiring altogether from football to manage his sporting goods stores. He died in 1991.