June 28, 2012
AUCKLAND – All Whites and Olympic striker Kosta Barbarouses has joined Greek giants Panathinaikos on a season-long loan from his Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz.
The 22 year old has won 12 caps for the All Whites and will line up for the Oly Whites an Olympic campaign featuring matches against Belarus, Egypt and Brazil in the group stages.
That campaign will see Barbarouses miss out on at least the start of the Greek Super League club’s bid to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. As runners up to long time rivals Olympiacos in the last Greek season, Panathinaikos start in the Champions League’s third qualifying round in late July.
Barbarouses’ agent Ritchie Hinton told The World Game the former Team Wellington, Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar striker was looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a good opportunity for Kosta and great preparation for him as he looks forward to playing in New Zealand’s World Cup qualifying campaign and also at the Olympic Games for his country next month in England,” Hinton said.
“He is a Greek passport holder and that helped ease the move. The initial move to Russia was a step in the right direction, even though he didn’t get the game time and he learned a lot from the experience.
“He’s excited and looking forward to playing regularly in the top flight in Greece, which everybody knows is a strong competition.”
Barbarouses will link up with the Neil Emblen coached Olympic team in time for build up games against Korea Republic, Japan and the UAE en route to London.