It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of soccer giant Mimis Papaioannou. Papaioannou dominated the pitch from 1962 to 1979 and was recognized as the top Greek player of the 20th century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). He was a star, but what set him apart was the ethos he consistently displayed throughout his soccer career.
It was an honor for all of us at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to work together with him for more than ten years. Our collaboration began in 2003, through the creation and implementation of the Mimis Papaioannou Ethos Cup sports and educational program, which was exclusively supported by SNF. The program included the organization of educational sports programs and soccer tournaments, with the aim of promoting fair play among children primarily from underserved areas of the country.
All of us at SNF will always remember him for his historical achievements, but also, above all, for his consistency, drive, professionalism, and vision for inspiring young people with understanding of sport and rivalry as basic elements of a well-rounded character.
Our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.