Register Login Scores

Mzansi-Born Star Explains Why He Represents Greece, Not SA

Johannesburg-born Bundesliga starlet Panagiotis Retsos, who is the most expensive South African footballer in history, told Soccer Laduma in an exclusive interview why he decided to represent Greece rather than his country of birth.

Click through the gallery above to see some other players who were born in Africa, but represent European nations.

The 20-year-old defender became the most expensive SA-born player when he joined Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen from Olympiacos for €17.5 million (R287 million) in August 2017.

He is currently recovering from a tendon injury picked up in pre-season, but is close to making his first appearance of the 2018/19 campaign.

Thanks to Soccer Laduma's partnership with Germany's top flight, David Kappel was able to chat to Retsos about several topics, including his international allegiance.

The centre-back opted to represent Greece over South Africa, and made his national debut on 31 August 2017, in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Estonia. Overall, he has made five appearances for the European nation so far, and he told Soccer Laduma why he chose Greece over Bafana Bafana.

"It was a choice because my whole life I was living in Greece," Retsos said.

"So Greece is something very special to me, because I spent my whole childhood there, so I decided to go with Greece.

"For me, I'm connected to two countries and I love both very much."

Read: Barca Loanee Equals 55yo Bundesliga Record

The Leverkusen defender left South Africa when he was just one years old, but says he is planning to visit his country of birth next year.

"I was born in 1998 in Johannesburg and I moved to Greece – my father is from Greece – in 1999 when I was one years old," he added.

"Since then, I have not been to South Africa, but I'm planning to visit after the season."

Retsos made 28 appearances for Leverkusen in his first season with the club, and also ran out 40 times for Olympiacos, where he became the team's youngest captain ever.

You can read the full interview, in which the starlet also speaks about the pressure of his transfer fee and his targets with the Bundesliga side, in this week's edition of Soccer Laduma, issue 1095.


10 Of The Most Underwhelming Signings So Far This Season


Top 5

Amakhosi Exits – Another One Finds A New Home

25 Oct 18, 2019 10:02 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

The Highest-Paid Player At Each Serie A Club Revealed

11 Oct 12, 2019 08:03 PM in Serie A

Pitso: Oupa Is Not Done With Football!

20 Oct 18, 2019 09:25 AM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Man Utd Transfer News: Eight In, Five Out?

10 Oct 08, 2019 12:24 PM in Manchester United

‘I Don’t Really Think About Chiefs’  

45 Oct 18, 2019 11:09 AM in Telkom Knockout

Living Large! 10 Peeks Into Mathoho's Home & Garage

6 Oct 15, 2019 09:44 AM in Ballers Cribs & Travels

Billionaire Baller: Check Out Motsepe’s R69M Cape Crib

14 Oct 16, 2019 11:33 AM in Ballers Cribs & Travels

Billiat Vs Mathoho – The Battle Of The Luxury Homes

7 Oct 19, 2019 08:00 AM in Fan Park

The PSL's Cheap Car Gang

4 Oct 18, 2019 11:27 AM in Fan Park

Khune Vs Ronaldo – The Big Mercedes-Benz Battle

21 Oct 18, 2019 05:00 PM in Fan Park

The Highest-Paid Player At Each EPL Club Revealed

20 Sep 15, 2019 07:15 PM in Cadbury

How Pitso Sat And Listened To Rulani…

16 Oct 18, 2019 08:03 AM in Mamelodi Sundowns

FIFA Announce 2019 World Team Of The Year, Salah & Mane Snubbed

76 Sep 23, 2019 09:47 PM in Ballon d’Or

How Chiefs’ New Star Had To Prove Himself At Naturena…

23 Oct 18, 2019 07:00 AM in Kaizer Chiefs