Top Turkish football manager Fatih Terim named new coach of Panathinaikos

Legendary former Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim is the new coach of Greek Super League side Panathinaikos. The news came 24 hours after the shock departure of Ivan Jovanovic, who was sacked despite the Athenian side being a point behind league leaders PAOK.

Jovanovic had led Panathinaikos to cup triumph in 2022, winning the ‘Trifylli’ [Greek Cup], as well as guiding the team into Europe this season for the first time since 2016/2017.

It’s thought that Panathinaikos’ exit from Europe following their loss against Maccabi Haifa in the final group stage match of the Europa League and a mixed bag of local derby results against Olympiacos cost the popular Serbian his job.

Known in Turkiye as “Imparator” [Emperor], Terim is the greatest Turkish football manager of all time. He won the Turkish Super Lig a record eight times with Galatasaray during his four stints with the Istanbul club as coach. He also led them to European glory, winning the UEFA Cup in 2000 against Arsenal, and has won them three Turkish Cups and five Super Cups.

Panathinaikos will be expecting the 70-year-old Adana-born half-Turkish Cypriot coach to emulate that success in Greece.

The Athenian club have been League Champions twenty times in their 115-year history. However, they last won the title over a decade ago, in 2010.

The Greens, as they are locally known, currently have 34 points from 15 games – two points more than fellow Athenian rivals Olympiacos and reigning league champions AEK Athens, who are respectively third and fourth in Greece’s 14-team Super League.

Terim, who has previously also managed Fiorentina, Milan and the Turkish national team, hasn’t worked with any club since parting ways with Galatasaray in January 2022 following a string of poor results.

His first test as Panathinaikos manager will be a home game on 3 January 2024 against Giannina, who are currently bottom of the Greek Super League.

Main image, top, of Panathinaikos welcoming new manager Fatih Terim, via Panathinaikos website.