I have these two books at home filled with AEK stats from every season from 1924 until some time in the 1990s, I believe around 1995. I’ve been thinking about referencing them this summer and doing some posts about previous players we had back in the day, players who often tend to go overlooked despite having made some immense contributions to AEK when they were playing.
In what I could only interpret as some sort of sign encouraging me to actually make these posts, a video showed up as I was browsing the web. The video showed some of the amazing skill and acrobatic ability on display from the one and only Ilias Atmatzidis during our 0-1 win against Olympiakos. This particular game was from the 1997-1998 season, a season in which we had an extremely impressive squad consisting of both Atmatzidis and Chiotis as keepers, defenders such as Kostenoglou, Kasapis, and Kopitsis, Savevski in midfield, topped off with Batista and Nikolaidis in attack. With such a strong squad, its no surprise that we managed to beat PAO and Olympiakos both home and away, although we ultimately fell short in the league after finishing fourteen points behind champions Olympiakos.
So, what exactly was so special about the video that I saw? See for yourselves.
We’ve had a number of incredible keepers throughout the years, with Chiotis and Sorrentino coming to mind from the more recent seasons. I can never forget Sorrentino’s performance against Milan, especially after being in the stadium that night… as much as that victory belongs to Julio Cesar, Sorrentino also deserves just as much credit (I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much frustration on Inzaghi’s face as I have after watching the highlights from that game). However, Atmatzidis will still always be up there with some of the best keeper’s we’ve ever had as far as I’m concerned.
In case you want some more videos to watch, below are some highlights from our home and away wins against Panathinaikos during the 1997-1998 season.