He set foot at the PAOK Sports Arena for the first time at 30 years of age! In the summer of 2012. He got to wear the black and white at a time when the vast majority of players sign one year contracts and their career with one team is short lived. Vangelis Margaritis though has already completed an 8 year course with PAOK, he’s about to start his 9th and hopes that by the time he hangs with shoes, he’s going to have the chance and do something good with the team. Maybe what he came very close to winning in February of 2019 in Heraklion, what he has sometimes dreamt of for both Greece and Europe. It may sound a bit off for him to say it now, following an extremely difficult and bad in every aspect last season. However, there’s a new endeavor, a new beginning, that’s also the main reason he stays with PAOK. There’s also faith, despite the hard and long road the team has gone through. But it’s never too late. And Vangelis Margaritis knows that better than anyone…
«I sometimes get back to 2012, thinking about the first time I set foot in this gym, my first contact with PAOK and the truth is I never thought we get this far. I only wanted a chance and I had it in front of me. I wanted to prove who I was and what I was able of doing. Thank God I did it. With the help of everyone around the team all these years, administrations, coaches, team mates, the support of the fans and my people I got to be where I am right now», Vangelis Margaritis says looking back to his full now resume that can only make him proud of what he has achieved. During the last eight years. After the age of 30. During a time in his life and career, when most people take it down a notch, he sped up. «I won a lot from the team all these years. I was given the chance to work with people that have given basketball a lot, like Bane, Magic, Soulis Markopoulos, Telis (i.e. Zournatsidis, former Team Manager), without meaning to not do justice to anyone. I was lucky enough to have great team mates that helped me a lot, like Lazaros Papadopoulos, Charalampidis, Dedas, Tsochlas and many more», Vangelis Margaritis points out and finishes his assessment saying … «that acknowledgment and love for me have branded me. I became the captain of a team that has seen giants play, the fans got to sing my name. I honestly don’t have the words to describe how it felt when I heard the fans of PAOK chanting my name. This and the fact that I came to play for the National team are my high lights. And I’m grateful for all those I got to experience up to now through the team of PAOK. I bonded with a lot of people, I made friends for life, I got married and we are now expecting the birth of our first child and I can definitely call PAOK my family….».
The new effort that made the deal happen
He signed his first contract with PAOK in 2012. On July 4, 2013 he renewed his cooperation with the team for the first time and for the next two seasons. On June 5, 2015, just before the season was over, he once again renewed his contract, this time for three years and when the time came (June 15, 2018) he signed another two year extension, that brought him to 2020. Was really the new deal an easy decision? «From the moment Mr. Chatzopoulos decided to get involved with the team, I only had one thing in mind. I wanted to support his effort. I felt that just like the team had supported me all these years, I wanted to be here as well, help and support this new endeavor. Just like I think everyone should be doing. Support this effort and especially Mr. Chatzopoulos», Vangelis Margaritis explains and sends his own message to all the fans of the team... «After last season, that for me was the most difficult in my career, I see a new beginning. With new people in the administration, whom I wish to succeed in climbing the mountain that stands in front of them. And together, everyone on the team and the fans, we should support this effort, help the team make a new beginning next season and with patience move forward each coming year».