“I really wanted to see the team back in the first division. I know what it means to all involved, I saw the heartache caused by relegation and I vowed then to give my all to get the club back to where it must be.”
Miguel Cordero

Supporters of AEK Athens haven’t had much to cheer about for quite some time. But with promotion back to the Super League almost assured, all that seems about to change.
Given the club’s history and fanatical support base, it’s hard to believe that AEK has only won one piece of silverware in the last decade, when it lifted the Greek Cup in 2011.
Just two years later, in 2013, the club was relegated for the first time in its history as years of inner turmoil and mismanagement created a financial debt too big for AEK to deal with.
To clear the slate, the club opted to drop to the amateur third division in order to be able to qualify for liquidation.
Now, two years later, AEK is on the verge of returning back to Greece’s top flight. Despite losing the first game of the play-offs in a 2-1 defeat away to Iraklis, AEK remains equal first on ten points, seven ahead of the team currently in third, Larissa. Victory in its five home games should be enough to get AEK over the line.
The club’s captain, Spanish midfielder Miguel Cordero, has been with AEK since its relegation year and stuck with the team despite its drop to the lower leagues.
He says that although the play-offs still have a long way to go, AEK is well positioned to qualify for the Super League.
“Our hard work during the regular season allowed us to begin the play-offs with a good advantage, but until you’ve confirmed your promotion mathematically you can’t relax or think about the Super League,” Cordero told Neos Kosmos.
The midfielder, born in Lebrija near Seville, says everyone at AEK has one clear objective for the next six weeks.
“Our goal is an obvious one, we must get the club back into the Super League.”
Cordero, who has also played for Real Madrid Castilla, the Spanish giant’s B side, says a return to the top flight has been his main inspiration ever since AEK’s relegation.
“I really wanted to see the team back in the first division. I know what it means to all involved, I saw the heartache caused by relegation and I vowed then to give my all to get the club back to where it must be.”
Following a successful 2014/15 season that saw AEK finish the regular season undefeated in the league and reach the quarter finals of the Greek Cup, the Spaniard believes the Athens club is ready to meet the demands of the Super League.
“We had a very good season, playing attractive football, winning our division comfortably and having a good run in the cup where we demonstrated that we could go up against teams from the Super League.”
Cordero says unlike the team that was relegated two years ago, this new, healthy and professional AEK will be a strong competitor in the Super League.
“We have a solid base, and with a few good new additions to the squad I think we can form a strong team that can be competitive in the Super League.”
While things have been on the up for AEK, Cordero himself has missed a large part of the season because of a knee injury. He is finally ready for a return to first team football after a difficult couple of months.
“I lost a big part of the season and unfortunately missed quite a number of important games, but I have to be strong so that I can return and help the team at this crucial stage of the season.”
Despite his lack of games this season he remains a firm crowd favourite, with many AEK supporters appreciating not only his talent but also his commitment to the club after he became one of the first players to re-sign for the club when it dropped to the third division.
“That was a big moment for me, deciding to play in the third division in Greece. I had to really think long and hard about it. But I knew AEK was a big club and I could sense things were about to change so I accepted the challenge to help return this great team to where it belongs,” Cordero explained.
He says a lot has changed since his initial arrival to AEK in early 2013 when he was brought to the club by one of its former legends and a member of the Euro 2004 winning Greek squad, Vassilis Tsiartas.
“My first year was horrible, not just because of the relegation, but also the events leading up to it. The conditions were not suitable for football and the players struggled with the intense demands of that year.”
He says the club is clearly a lot healthier now, allowing the players to focus on doing their job, playing football.
“This is why we have been so professional this year and are now on the verge of being promoted back to the Super League.”
Off the field Cordero has also had to adjust to life in a new country, with a new language and a different way of doing things.
“Coming to terms with life outside of Spain has been a challenge at times but I prefer to focus on the positives and the truth is in many ways Greece and Spain are very similar. Greek people, just like the Spanish, are very open and genuine, what you see is what you get.”
Cordero says he feels extremely fortunate to be in Athens and really loves Greece. “Together with my girlfriend Inma we try to explore the city of Athens, and the country as much as possible. Footballers don’t get many free days but when we do, I try to make the most of the situation and have been lucky to visit many beautiful spots in Greece.”
With life on and off the field looking good for the Spanish midfielder, Cordero says he is really enjoying his time in Greece and loving playing for AEK and their loyal supporters.
“It is amazing how people love this club regardless of where in the world they are. I have heard that Original has strong supporters clubs in Melbourne and Sydney. To all the AEK supporters around the world, just like those here in Greece I say please continue to love this team and together we will take this great club back to where it deserves to be.”