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Friday, May 28, 2004 

Nikopolidis joins rivals Olympiacos

The saga concerning the future of Panathinaikos FC goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis has ended with the Greek international goalkeeper leaving the newly crowned champions and joining the club they deposed, Olympiacos CFP, on a three-year contract.

Contract expiring
The deal will become official when the transfer window opens on 1 June. The future of the 32-year-old had been the talk of Greece for the past six months, with his existing contract at Panathinaikos expiring in June.

Dropped from first team
He failed to reach a new agreement with Panathinaikos, despite extensive negotiations. As a result he was dropped from the first team - his last appearance came in February meaning he missed the title run-in as Panathinaikos ended Olympiacos's seven-year reign as Greek champions.

Landmark move
Nikopolidis joined Panathinaikos in summer 1989, but did not establish himself as first-choice goalkeeper until the 1997/98 season. A member of Otto Rehhagel's 23-man squad for UEFA EURO 2004™, he is the first player to move from Panathinaikos to Olympiacos since Chris Kalantzis in 1993.

Source: Uefa.com

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