Everyone has heard by now about the trouble that has erupted in Greece in the economic sector. All this talk reminded me of former Blackburn striker Matt Derbyshire, who left chilly Blackburn to join up with Greek giants Olympiakos.
Known for his never-say-die attitude in his time at Ewood Park, boyhood Rovers fan Derbyshire has proved a real fans favourite amongst the Olympiakos faithful.
He first joined the Greek side on loan in January 2009, making his debut in the Greek cup semi-final against PAOK. The return leg saw him make his home debut and introduced himself to the home fans by scoring in extra time to send Olympiakos through to the final.
The final saw them face fierce rivals AEK Athens. Olympiakos were trailing 2-0 at half-time when Derbyshire was brought on as a sub and scored three minutes later, giving the team a way back into the match. After drawing level, AEK scored what they thought was the winner late on before Derbyshire popped up with a late leveller – a goal which left him concussed and didn’t even realise he had scored. Olympiakos went on to win 15-14 on penalties.
Olympiakos were impressed with what they saw and signed him permanently last summer.
Since then, Derbyshire has continued to impress the Greek fans. Olympiakos managed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, where they were knocked out by Bordeaux – who themselves made it to the quarter-finals.
Derbyshire repeated his habit of scoring important derby goals when he netted the winner against Panathinaikos in March this year, earning him the nickname “The English Killer”.
Although Olympiakos missed out on the league title this year to rivals Panathinaikos, Derbyshire still managed to net five goals in just eleven appearances.
So it does go to show that not only Mr Beckham can be a success away from home.