Kostas Manolas' football career hasn't been easy. Born on the Greek island of Naxos, he had to leave for Athens to have an opportunity to become a professional. After leaving his local club for Thrasyvoulos, he eventually got a move to AEK Athens in 2009, before joining Olympiakos in 2012. It was the latter where he made his name.
He is, perhaps, now one of the most convincing defenders in Italian football, with an ability to bring the ball out from the back, too. What is most fascinating is his character on and off the pitch. He is a leader and a born winner and at Roma he can regularly be seen conversating with his manager during a game.
His former team-mate, Miralem Pjanic, now of Juventus, said after one game that "Manolas has a special head. He always wants to do things well and puts a lot of energy into everything. Against Torino he wanted to take two free-kicks, but, finally, we made him see that it was best he didn't take more. He's like that." His family lives for football and his uncle has coached AEK Athens. They're all fans of Barça's style.