Olympiakos club introduces its new coach to the public

Former Bruges boss Trond Sollied was unveiled as the new coach of Greek champions Olympiakos yesterday. The 45-year-old Norwegian, who had been linked with the vacant post at archrivals Panathinaikos earlier this year, described the move as a big step in his career. «I chose Olympiakos for two reasons. First, because they are in the Champions League and second, because I met with [owner] Mr [Socrates] Kokkalis who persuaded me that I will be working at a very high level,» he told a news conference. «I hope we will have a successful working relationship this year. It will be difficult to repeat last year’s success of the [league and cup] double but I believe that we have everything in place to succeed. Olympiakos is undoubtedly a big step in my career,» he added. Kokkalis said Olympiakos had made the best choice for the next two years. «His [Sollied’s] capabilities and ambitions coincide with ours,» he said. «We hope this year we can produce some spectacular football and that we will win titles in Greece and do better in Europe.» Previous coach Dusan Bajevic left Olympiakos a week after securing the double because of a widespread belief among club officials and certain fans that he could not succeed in Europe. Despite winning eight of the nine past Greek league titles, Olympiakos has failed to figure prominently in Europe. Also yesterday, just hours after Sollied’s presentation, Olympiakos said it had signed Bordeaux defender and Greece Euro 2004 winner Michalis Kapsis. The 32-year-old defender signed a two-year contract with Olympiakos with an option for another season if both sides agree. The deal is worth 800,000 euros in annual fees for the player, while Bordeaux would receive approximately 400,000 euros to break the Greek defender’s contract. Kapsis still had 12 months left on his two-year contract with the French club. He joined shortly after Greece’s Euro 2004 triumph. The Greek defender, renowned for having neutralized some of the world’s leading strikers, played in 29 matches for Bordeaux. Before that Kapsis spent six years with Athens club AEK, between 1998 and 2004. (Reuters/AFP/Kathimerini)

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