Olympiacos Piraeus's president Giorgos Angelopoulos described Vassilis Spanoulis as the greatest athlete in the history of Olympiacos and remembered how he and his brother Panagiotis managed to sign him in 2010.

During the press conference at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on the occasion of Vassilis Spanoulis's retirement from professional basketball, one of the Reds' presidents and owners told the story about the decision to sign Spanoulis.

Vassilis Spanoulis

Vassilis  Spanoulis
Position: SG, PG
Age: 39
Height: 193 cm
Weight: 96 kg
Birth place: Larissa, Greece

"It was in 2010. After the third final against Panathinaikos, we thought about how we should act strategically. The decision was to get the best player of Panathinaikos at his best age. There was a question of where and how Spanoulis would play, as well as the difficulty of bringing in an athlete from Panathinaikos for Olympiacos. We made the big hit. 

Our desire was to make Olympiacos the first team in Greece and Europe. The discussions and decisions were difficult, we had reached a dead-end. There was a stalemate in the negotiations.

Just before I came back from the USA, I spoke with my brother Panagiotis, and we said to make the big move. It was Saturday. On Sunday, I arrived in Athens, and the same afternoon, we signed our first contract in our offices.

That's when the history of Olympiacos changed. Vassilis heard a lot both inside and outside the organization. Olympiacos reached the top of Europe and stayed there for almost a decade.

What we always said that Vasilis would not hesitate to lead a team with a low budget. We accomplished incredible feats. We had the lowest budget in Europe out of the Top 8 teams. All of our competitors had four and five times our budget," Angelopoulos said.

He then went on to leave Olympiacos' door open to Spanoulis in order for him to assume whichever role he thinks suitable: "It's too early. He's part of our family. He's young. He has many suggestions to discuss."

The Reds' other co-owner and president, Panagiotis Angelopoulos, praised Vassilis Spanoulis and stressed that a team with a "refuse to lose" mentality was built around him.

He also announced that a friendly game will be held in September 2022 in honor of the legendary player. "We have not chosen an opponent yet, but they will be very good," he mentioned.

"Vassilis Spanoulis was the greatest basketball player in the history of Olympiacos and one of the top in Europe. We are lucky to have lived through the Spanoulis decade. As you know, from 2004, we put money into the team, and in 2009 we got the club's shares.

A year later, we brought in Spanoulis. Around him, we built a team with a "refuse to lose" spirit. I believe that Olympiacos will go back to the Final Four. I don't know if we will win the EuroLeague again. What we experienced with Vassilis is hard to repeat. We didn't expect what we did back then. It will be a benchmark for the team in the coming years".

Asked about the top moment he will remember from Vassilis Spanoulis, Panagiotis Angelopoulos replied: "I will choose five achievements of Olympiacos with Vassilis. The final of 2012 with the winning basket of Printezis and the assist of Spanoulis. Winning the Euroleague in 2013 with Vassilis's five three-pointers in the second half. The qualification to the final of 2015 is one of the biggest upsets of Vassilis and Olympiacos. The 2016 championship title in Greece, and the qualification to the 2017 Final in Istanbul".

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