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Soccer-Papadopoulos blames Olympiakos exit on sour relation with coach

Reuters

By Graham Wood

ATHENS, Sep 2 (Reuters) - Greece defender Avraam Papadopoulos has said his soured relationship with Olympiakos Piraeus coach Michel was the reason for his departure from the Greek champions.

Papadopoulos, who was the club captain and had been a pivotal figure since joining in 2008, left the club to join Trabzonspor on a free transfer said he never felt the Spanish coach believed in him.

"I want to thank wholeheartedly the president of Olympiakos, Mr. Marinakis, and the management who respected my desire, despite strong disagreement, to leave the club for a new challenge..." Papadopoulos said in an open letter on the Olympiakos website.

"I thought seriously and I decided to leave the club, which as everyone knows I have struggled to become a member of recently, because I have never felt the appreciation and trust of the current coach.

"Thus I came to the point where getting along with him was no longer possible."

The 29-year-old, who did not make Greece's 23-man World Cup squad last summer, lost his regular first team place last season due to the emergence of Dimitris Siovas.

Following the summer arrivals of former France defender Eric Abidal, along with fellow Frenchman Arthur Masuaku and Spanish centre-back Alberto Botia, Papadopoulos decided it was time to move on.

The former Aris Salonica defender, who has won five league titles and has been capped 36 times by Greece, said that he believed the team could go on to be more successful than ever with (president Vangelis) Marinakis at the helm.

"It's a fact that the team has raised its level and can reach even higher because the man in control loves the club and has a vision." (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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