Georgios Donis

Current Club
Job Title
Place Of Birth
Frankfurt am Main
Date Of Birth
October 22, 1969

Who is Georgios Donis, the coach of Al Wehda:

Georgios Donis, a former Greek professional footballer and current football manager, has had a remarkable journey in the world of football. Born in Frankfurt, West Germany, and raised there for the early years of his life, Donis later returned to his native Greece, where he would leave an indelible mark.

Georgios Donis began his senior playing career with PAS Giannina in 1990 before making a significant move to the prestigious Panathinaikos. His explosive speed and remarkable acceleration on the field earned him the nickname "the Train" among fans. However, his journey didn't end there. In 1996, after helping Panathinaikos reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Ajax FC, he made a historic move to Blackburn Rovers in England. This transfer marked Donis as the first-ever Greek player to feature in the English Premier League. His time in England also saw him known as George Donis. Donis later continued his playing career with AEK Athens, Sheffield United, and Huddersfield Town before retiring as a player.

Donis didn't limit himself to his playing days; he transitioned into coaching after retiring from professional football. His managerial career took off in 2002 when he led Ilisiakos, a Greek club, through two consecutive promotions from the 4th to the 2nd Greek football level. His next significant managerial role was with AEL, where he guided the team to the Greek Superleague from the second division. He also secured the Greek Cup for AEL in 2007, defeating Panathinaikos 2–1 in the final. Donis then ventured into European football management, with his team AE Larissa defeating his former club Blackburn Rovers to reach the 2007–08 UEFA Cup group stages.

In 2008, Donis was appointed head coach of AEK Athens, but his tenure was relatively short-lived due to a string of poor performances and an early exit from the UEFA Cup. Subsequently, he took the reins at Atromitos, where he reached the Greek Cup Final. Atromitos enjoyed continued success under his guidance, reaching the Greek Cup Final once more and participating in the Greek Superleague playoffs.

Donis's managerial journey continued with PAOK in 2012, where he signed a two-year contract. However, he was sacked in April 2013 following a crucial defeat in the Greek Cup semi-final. A fresh opportunity came his way when he took over as the manager of APOEL, the reigning Cypriot champions, leading them to a double-title victory in his debut season. His success continued as APOEL qualified for the group stages of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League.

Despite initial success, Donis left APOEL in January 2015. He moved on to manage Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, where he led the team to the semi-final of the 2015 AFC Champions League and secured the 2015 King Cup of Champions.

Donis later managed Al-Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and had a second spell at APOEL in Cyprus, although his tenure was short-lived. In 2018, he returned to Panathinaikos, his former club as a player, as the manager. He left the club in July 2020, citing a strained relationship with the club's board and chairman.

His managerial career took an international turn when he signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he led the team to the Play Offs of the UEFA Champions League and the round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League. However, he was dismissed in December 2020.

In March 2021, Donis became the manager of Saudi club Al-Wehda, marking another chapter in his managerial journey. He further expanded his experience by taking charge of Al-Fateh in Saudi Arabia in January 2022. Remarkably, in July 2023, Donis returned for his second stint as the manager of Al-Wehda.

Throughout his career, both as a player and a manager, Donis has garnered honors and recognition for his contributions to Greek and international football. His versatile career continues to make an impact in the football world, reflecting his dedication and passion for the sport.