FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has written to his Hellenic Football Federation counterpart Sofoklis Pilavios to express his sadness over the passing of former Greece and USA coach Alketas Panagoulias. The man who spent his entire playing career with Aris, and also guided Olympiacos to back-to-back Greek championships in the early 1980s, died at the age of 78 on Monday.

“Alketas Panagoulias devoted his life to football,” wrote President Blatter. “ He was an active football player and manager and will be remembered for his accomplishments and the contributions he made to our sport, including coaching the Greek national football team for a total of ten years.

“I remember when he led your national team to their first appearance in UEFA European Football Championship finals in 1980 in Italy and in FIFA World Cup finals in 1994 in the USA. I knew him personally and cannot speak highly enough of his tireless efforts to promote football. We are saddened to lose such a loyal and committed friend.”