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AEK Soccer Legend Mimis Papaioannou Dead at 81

Mimis Papaioannou, a legendary soccer star for AEK Athens and the club’s top scorer, died on Wednesday morning after struggling with health issues for years. He was 81.

Papaioannou was born in 1942 in Nea Nikomidia, Imathia in northern Greece. In the summer of 1962, 20-year-old Papaioannou donned the yellow and black jersey for the first time, beginning an 18-year-long unbroken career.

However, his relationship with the club was disrupted when he was not allowed to make the jump to Real Madrid, which offered a staggering, for the time, fee of 4 million drachmas to AEK and 750,000 drachmas to him.

In a statement on his passing, AEK paid tribute to Papaioannou saying, “The greatest football player in the history of our team has passed into eternity.” In the year 2000, he was named the top Greek footballer of the 20th century by the International Football Statistics Service (IFFHS).

Nicknamed “the Vlach,” due to his origin, Papaioannou was also a model of fair play, never once, throughout his entire career, being shown a red card.

Source: ekathimerini

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