Konstantinos was born in Athens, capital of Greece, during a period that neighborhoods were very vibrant and busy from kids meeting in the streets to play games. The most favorite game was soccer. As a result, Konstantinos played soccer from a very young age in the streets of Athens. By the age of 11, he was running his own team as player-coach! The name of that team was Prometheus, the street of the building where his apartment was located. At that age, he did not always know what he was doing; yet, the parents of all other kids had entrusted him running the team and never interfered. Our neighborhood was soccer intense. Many soccer clubs were located within its bounds; many older kids and adults were already playing in the higher divisions of the Greek league; and hundreds of other kids were active in teams of the lower divisions and the local clubs, all dreaming to be pros one day. Competition was ever-present and exciting. Being young at that time, Konstantinos thought that such an environment was a natural and automatic one. Now, much older and looking back in time, he could not be more wrong.
I trained 3-4 hours a week at Ajax when I was little but played 3-4 hours a day on the street. So where do you think I learnt football?
My generation put in a lot more hours playing football after school than kids today. These days, all the football these kids play, they play at their clubs, so the clubs need to work seriously on the basic skills.
As a result of Prometheus‘ performance
At the same time, Konstantinos was performing exceptionally well at school. Unfortunately, the European system does not offer any option to do sports and education at the same time. Konstantinos’ father had died when he was at the age of ten and money in his family was running low. Soccer those days did not have the riches we hear about today. Unless you were a really well known player in the top division, you could not make enough money to live exclusively from soccer. Especially, all players playing in the second division had other jobs. However, from the school side, starting at the 8th grade, he was getting scholarships, tutoring jobs, and promises that he would always be able to make a good living. As a result, slowly he abandoned any thought related to soccer and followed the academic path (which indeed has always provided him enough to live with).
Occasionally Konstantinos has played successfully in amateur leagues but he never felt the satisfaction he had when he was playing as a young person among highly skilled players. Episkyros, LLC is Costas’ attempt to create such a highly entertaining, effective and distinct soccer environment. It was conceived out of his frustration with local clubs which charge high fees but they offer services of poor quality. The emphasis is on the kids and developing players, not profit making.
Football is now all about money. There are problems with the values within the game. This is sad because football is the most beautiful game. We can play it in the street. We can play it everywhere. Everyone can play it but those values are being lost. We have to bring them back.
When Konstantinos was growing up, the legendary Johan Cruyff was playing soccer in the pitches and was the center of everyone’s attention. He then became a legendary soccer coach. Cruyff had similar childhood in the streets of Amsterdam and a penetrating and original mind. As a result, a lot of Konstantinos’ philosophy, attitude, and expectations in soccer have been shaped by Cruyff’s ideas. Konstantinos likes to repeat many of Cruyff’s quotes since it’s like hearing himself.
Since the American educational system allows student-athletes, Konstantinos’ long term vision is to create highly qualified soccer players who will be able to be admitted with sports scholarships to top American Universities. His soccer and academic experience allow him to have a unique perspective and understanding of both sides not encountered in any other soccer club. His physics students have already being admitted to Ivy League schools with full scholarships. He would like to repeat such success stories with his soccer players.
- BS, University of Athens, Greece: Physics
- MS, Cornell University: Physics
- PhD, Cornell University: Mathematical Physics
Konstantinos’ soccer medicine diplomas
- FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine, The Federation Internationale de Football Association
Konstantinos’ soccer diplomas
- Grassroots 4v4 Coaching, US Soccer Federation
- F license, US Soccer Federation
- Futsal Level 1, National Soccer Coaches Association of America
- Goalkeeping Level 1, United Soccer Coaches
- Get aHEAD Safely in Soccer, National Soccer Coaches Association of America
- Special Topics: Creating Talent, United Soccer Coaches
- LGBT: Diversity and Inclusion, National Soccer Coaches Association of America
- Foundations of Coaching, United Soccer Coaches
- Key Moments in the Game, United Soccer Coaches
- Special Topics: Sports Psychology and Individual Mental Skills, United Soccer Coaches
- Creator and administrator of the Science & STEM group on the FIFA Medical Network.