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Archive for August, 2008

Gilberto makes debut for Pana!

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Reposted from

Gilberto Makes Pana Debut

Brazil captain Gilberto Silva has made his long-awaited debut for Panathinaikos. The Greek side progressed to the 3rd round of UEFA Champions League qualification with a 3-0 aggregate win over Georgian champions Dinamo Tbilisi.

The introduction of the former Arsenal player after 50 minutes, replacing teen prodigy Sotiris Ninis, gave Panathinaikos fans their first chance to see Gilberto playing in the famous green strip of the Athens club.

Dynamo squandered a number of first half-opportunities before they had midfielder Nikoloz Pirtskhalava sent off for receiving a second yellow card, and the Greek side progressed relatively comfortably.

Panathinaikos’ Dutch manager Hank Ten Cate made some changes to the side that had delivered a 3-0 win at the OAKA Spiros Louis Stadium in the first leg, with veteran centre-back Giannis Goumas starting instead of Josu Sarriegi.

New signing from PAOK, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, also made his first competitive start for Panathinaikos, however, Austria captain Andreas Ivanschitz was not included in the squad which travelled to Georgia.

The Greek club now face Czech heavyweights Sparta Prague in the 3rd qualifying round, after Vítezslav Lavicka’s side similarly beat Moldovan champions FC Sheriff 3-0 on aggregate. The winner will secure a spot in the group stage of the Champions League this season.

Dinamo Tbilisi: Ovono, Nergadze (Djousse 67’), Kroko, Kashia, Tomashvili, Gvelesiani (Jishkariani 78’), Khmaladze, Pirtskhalava, Odikadze, Spasojevic (Vatsadze 66’), Akiremy.

Panathinaikos: Galinovic, Nilsson, Spiropoulos, Goumas, Vyntra, Mattos, Simao, Christodoulopoulos (Karagounis 73’), Ninis (Gilberto Silva 50’), Salpingidis, Mantzios (Rukavina 34’)

Go Bert!!

Wenger: Gilberto will be fantastic in Greece

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Reposted from

Gilberto will do “fantastically well” at Panathinaikos predicts Arsène Wenger.

The Arsenal manager reluctantly let the Brazilian midfielder leave for the Athens side during the summer after his first-team chances had been severely restricted during the previous season.

However the 31-year-old departed with a ringing endorsement from the Frenchman when a Greek journalist enquired about Gilberto at the press conference ahead of the Amsterdam Tournament.

“They have inherited not only a great player but a great man,” Wenger replied.

“He will do fantastically well. He did not play in our side last season because Flamini came in at a tournament and did well. Fabregas was already in the side too. But when he came into the side he did well.”

Gilberto to make Pana debut

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Reposted from

Gilberto Set For Pana Debut

Gilberto Silva may make his competitive debut for the Panathinaikos after he was included in Hank Ten Cate’s squad for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round against Dinamo Tbilisi on Wednesday.

The Trifili carry a 3-0 lead with them to the Boris Paichadze Stadium after an assured performance against the Georgian champions during their first leg at the OAKA Spiros Louis Stadium in Greece.

A solitary goal from Austria captain Andreas Ivanschitz and a brace from Greece international Dimitris Salpingidis gave Panathinaikos a commanding lead.

Newly-appointed coach Ten Cate may finally parade the former Arsenal midfielder, Gilberto, in Georgia, despite the fact that the Brazilian is yet to appear in a green jersey during pre-season.

Aside from dropping Greece international Alexandros Tziolis to make way for Silva, the Dutchman also made two other changes to his squad from the first leg, calling up Polish goalkeeper Arkadiusz Malarz and first-leg goal-scorer Ivanschitz making way for summer signing Cleyton from Larissa.

Panathinaikos squad:
Goalkeepers: Galinovic, Malarz
Defenders: Vyntra, Spiropoulos, Sarriegi, Nilsson, Goumas, Siontis, Gabriel
Midfielders: Gilberto Silva, Mattos, Karagounis, Simao, Ninis, Christodoulopoulos, Cleyton
Forwards: Mantzios, Rukavina, Salpingidis

Gilberto: Gunners need silverware

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Re-posted from The Press Association

Gilberto: Gunners need silverware

Brazilian midfielder Gilberto feels Arsenal need to win a trophy this year after three seasons without any silverware – but thinks their barren spell may continue.

The 31-year-old ended his six-year spell with the Gunners earlier this month, agreeing a move to Panathinaikos having struggled to hold down a first-team place last season.

“This is what they need to achieve – start to win things,” he told Arsenal TV Online.

Gilberto’s departure followed the exits of Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb while speculation continues about the future of star striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

With Manchester United and Chelsea having dominated the domestic scene since Arsenal’s last title in 2004, Gilberto is hoping Arsene Wenger’s side can build on an improved showing last term.

He added: “Of course there is massive pressure on them but people cannot forget they are still a young side and they have a lot to improve, to grow and to learn, but it will be very important to them if they win something this year.

“I am sure everyone at the club, Arsene, his staff, the players will do the maximum they can to achieve and win titles. This is the target and they won’t change it.

“But it will be hard again. It won’t be easy because the other teams are stronger than last year and Arsenal will have a hard season but I am confident they will handle it. I hope they can win this year.”

Gilberto sad at leaving Arsenal

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Reposted from


As Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his midfield for next season, former Arsenal stalwart Gilberto revealed he is “sad” to have left in search of regular first-team football at Panathinaikos.

The Brazilian World Cup winner – part of the Invincibles side of 2003-04 – followed combative Mathieu Flamini and unsettled winger Alexander Hleb out of Emirates Stadium this summer.

Gilberto, 31, revealed manager Wenger had wanted him to stay at the club for a seventh season.

However, the midfielder maintains he felt it was the right time for a new challenge.

“I feel a bit sad, you know. I like many, many people at Arsenal and it has been fantastic this last six years at the club,” Gilberto told Arsenal TV Online.

“The good thing between us, me and Arsne, is that we have been clear in our conversated to play, which is normal because in the season before I played a big part.

“He told me in case I decide to leave he wouldn’t stop me. It was my decision, he wanted me to stay, but at the end I didn’t know, to be honest, if I would have a chance to play.

“Then I had this opportunity at Panathinaikos and I felt it was a great one in terms of playing games and a contract.

“I have three years there, when I only had one year left at Arsenal. I considered all these things to get this opportunity.

“It is fantastic because even though I haven’t played much this year, at this stage [of my career] I have this opportunity to play in another club.

“It means over the years I have done the job well and people still believe in me.”

Gilberto wants success in Greece

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Re-posted from Premiership latest

Gilberto Determined To Taste Success At Panathinaikos After Ending Six-Year Stay At Arsenal

After completing his move from Arsenal to Panathinaikos, Brazil midfielder Gilberto Silva has spoken of his determination to make the Greek foray the ‘most successful’ chapter in his career.

The 31-year-old, who is a 2002 World Cup winner, has left the north-London Premiership outfit after a six-year spell during which he won 2004 Premier League title, and FA Cups in 2003 and 2005, in all making 244 appearances.

“I’m fully aware of Panathinaikos’s expectations and I’m confident the club will enter its second century successfully,” he said on his new club’s website.

“Panathinaikos is the new chapter in my career and I believe that it’s going to be most successful.”

Earlier, the Gunners confirmed the exit of Gilberto with a statement on the club’s official website, saying: “Arsenal can confirm that Gilberto has joined Greek side Panathinaikos.

“Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Gilberto for his huge contribution to the club both on and off the pitch, and wish him the very best for the future.”

Gilberto on why he left Arsenal

Monday, August 18th, 2008


Gilberto reveals reasons for departure

Gilberto Silva admits the promise of first-team football and the offer of a three-year contract made his mind up when it came to deciding whether to leave Arsenal for Panathinaikos.

The Brazilian completed his move to Henk ten Cate’s side earlier this month to end a six-year association with The Gunners.

It was a happy marriage for the most part, although after finding his opportunities restricted last season, the midfielder confirmed that he wanted to play away.

Speaking to Arsenal TV, Gilberto said: “I don’t know if I’d have had a chance to play this season and then I had this opportunity [Panathinaikos].

“It’s a great opportunity in terms of playing games and also contractually.

“I’ve got three years there and had just one more year left at Arsenal and I considered all these things.”

Gilberto motivated by silverware in Greece

Monday, August 18th, 2008


Gilberto motivated by silverware as Arsenal midfielder moves to Panathinaikos

Gilberto Silva has become one of the highest-paid players in Greece but the former Arsenal midfielder insists that is not the reason he joined Panathinaikos.

The Brazilian World Cup winner completed his £1million transfer, signing a contract which will see him earn £6m over three years.

But Gilberto insists he is not looking to wind down his career, with the 31-year-old saying: ‘I’m hungry to win more titles.

‘I came to Greece because I have big ambitions, it’s very important for me to be able to continue to give my best. I’m sure we will qualify through to the group stages of the Champions League and I’m excited about being a Panathinaikos player.’

Gilberto admitted he was stunned by the reception he received at Athens Airport from a crowd of around 2,000 Panathinaikos supporters.

‘I’m lost for words trying to thank the fantastic fans that welcomed me so warmly,’ he said.

‘I will respond by giving 100 per cent on the field.’