After a false alarm earlier in the year, Australian-born former Greek international Avraam Papadopoulos is headed back to the country of his birth to continue his football-playing career in the A-League.
Brisbane Roar has announced it has signed the central defender to strengthen John Aloisi’s defence as the Roar prepares for an Asian Champions League campaign as well as a domestic finals campaign.
The 32-year-old Papadopoulos will join the Roar as an injury replacement for defender Daniel Boawles, who appears to be out for a lengthy break following an injury sustained in last weekend’s 2-2 A-League draw with Melbourne City.
Roar has signed Papadopoulos despite recent reports Sydney FC had considered signing him as a replacement for the departed Matt Jurman but decided against the move once it became known that Papadopoulos was still the subject of ongoing match-fixing investigations stemming back to his playing days in the Greek Super League.
But this hasn’t deterred Roar, which has been anxious to find an injury replacement prior to the looming AFC Asians Champions League player registration deadline.
“Avraam is a footballer who has experience playing at the highest level for both club and country. He is currently still in Europe but will join the playing group as soon as possible,” Brisbane Roar’s football director Craig Moore said of Papadopoulos.
Melbourne-born Papadopoulos played 37 times for the Greek national team, last appearing in 2013 after also being a member of the team which played at the 2010 World Cup finals.
After first playing for Aris in Greece, he became an important part of the defence of Olympiakos between 2008-14, making 124 appearances and helping the team win five Greek Super League titles. After leaving Olympiakos, Papadopoulos earned the distinction of becoming the first Greek footballer to play in the Chinese Super League when he joined Shanghai Shenhua in 2015, followed by a 2016 season playing in the Japanese J1 League with Jubilo Iwata.