PAOK Thessaloniki defender Stelios Malezas is one of three players from the club to gain a place in Otto Rehhagel’s squad for South Africa 2010, veteran goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias and forward Dimitris Salpingidis being the other two. The tall 25-year-old central defender has yet to represent his country, although he was drafted into the squad for the friendly against Senegal this February.
Malezas began his career as a central midfielder, coming up through the youth ranks with AEP Katerini. He signed professional forms with PAOK on joining the club in 2003, and apart from spending a season on loan with Irodotos a year later he has remained there ever since. It was not until the 2008/09 season, however, that Malezas began to feature regularly in the first team. Having broken into the starting XI with his club, he is now looking to do the same for Greece in their second appearance at the FIFA World Cup™ finals.