Getting to know - Greece’s rising star Alexandros Raptis

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Athens, Greece, August 2, 2019. The 18-year-old outside hitter Alexandros Raptis was a member of the Greek team that recently finished second in the European Silver League, where he had his first opportunity to play with the men’s senior squad.

Raptis started to play Volleyball when he was 10 and fell in love with the game immediately. Olimpiada PATRAS was the first club that accepted him and he stayed there until he was 18 years old, accepting in the summer of 2018 to continue his career at Panathinaikos ATHENS. Despite his tender age, during his very first professional season, he revealed his talent and along with achieving 5th place in the Greek championship, he won the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and a spot in the second best team of the season.

“When I was young in Patra, I had two goals in my mind. To play at a high level and be able to compete with the national team against the best. The challenges ahead of me are big and I hope I can live up to that hype,” said Alexandros.

In the Silver League, Raptis had the opportunity to show the world some of his Volleyball skills, with the hope of travelling with the national team to Montpellier to face Italy and his idol, Ivan Zaytsev.

“The Silver League was a great opportunity for us to be more prepared for EuroVolley. For me it was even better, because it was the first time that I played an important role in the team. I met new players, I played with great teammates like Mitar Tzourits and every time we practice, I learn many useful things. Greek fans are starting to recognise my teammates and I and to be honest, I am not used to it and it still feels a bit strange,” said the 18-year-old outside hitter.

“I grew up watching matches and videos of Ivan Zaytsev and I have been dreaming of playing against him,” continued Raptis. “I did not believe it would happen so quickly in my career. I hope I am healthy and I will be able to face him in Montpellier. I have witnessed from the television what we are about to face at EuroVolley. The level will be high, it will be hard for us but that is the beauty of it. When it is easy, nobody is having fun, but when the challenge you have to deal with is hard, that motivates you to be better.”

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