Orestis Karnezis

Last updated

Orestis Karnezis
20130814 AT-GR Orestis Karnezis 2402.jpg
Karnezis with Greece in 2013
Personal information
Full nameOrestis-Spyridon Karnezis [1]
Date of birth (1985-07-11) 11 July 1985 (age 33)
Place of birth Athens, Greece
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Number 27
Youth career
1999–2003 Agios Mathaios Corfu
2003–2005 OFI
Senior career*
2005–2007 OFI 0 (0)
2007–2013 Panathinaikos 53 (0)
2013–2019 Udinese 108 (0)
2013–2014Granada (loan) 6 (0)
2017–2018Watford (loan) 15 (0)
2018–2019Napoli (loan) 6 (0)
2019– Napoli 3 (0)
National team
2004–2005 Greece U21 3 (0)
2012– Greece 49 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 22:06, 26 May 2019 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 March 2018

Orestis-Spyridon Karnezis (Greek : Ορέστης-Σπυρίδων Καρνέζης; born 11 July 1985) is a Greek footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Italian club Napoli and the Greek national team.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.


Club career


Born in Athens, but grew up in Corfu, Karnezis started his professional football career at Panathinaikos in 2007. He made only a few appearances for the club until the 2011–12 season, when he got more chances and impressed. After a few months, his coach, Jesualdo Ferreira, made him the regular goalkeeper of Panathinaikos. He had great performances and saved his team at crucial moments. Reports from Greece indicate that Karnezis was the subject of transfer speculation, as the Greek international attracted suitors from around Europe, following a solid campaign in the Superleague Greece 2012–13 season. Reports from Greece indicated that Udinese Calcio emerged as front-runners to sign Karnezis, after the Italian club reportedly offered €800,000 to bring Karnezis to the Serie A that summer. Karnezis took over as Panathinaikos' number one choice in goal that season and played admirably for the Athens giants. Karnezis' exploits for the Trifylli earned him consistent call-ups to the Greek national football team. [2]

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Corfu Place in Greece

Corfu or Kerkyra is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the margin of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, the island proper 592,8 km2. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.

Panathinaikos F.C. Greek association football club

Panathinaikos Football Club, known as Panathinaikos, or by its full name, and the name of its parent sports club, Panathinaikos A.O. or PAO, is a Greek professional football club based in the capital-city of Athens.


Karnezis completed his move from Panathinaikos to Udinese Calcio, after the two clubs reached an agreement over the Greece international's transfer. The 28-year-old keeper had been linked with a move to the Serie A side in recent weeks, with Panathinaikos manager Yannis Anastasiou keen to use income from the transfer to continue building his squad. A fee of €750,000 had been quoted by the Greek press, with a further €2 million due to Panathinaikos if the player returned to Greece to play with another club in the future. [3] [4] Karnezis signed a five-year contract on 22 July 2013, then was immediately loaned out to Spain's Granada for the season by the Italian club.

Udinese Calcio Italian association football club

Udinese Calcio, commonly referred to as Udinese, is an Italian football club based in Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, that currently plays in Serie A. It was founded on 30 November 1896 as a sports club, and on 5 July 1911 as a football club.

Serie A professional association football league in Italy

Serie A, also called Serie A TIM due to sponsorship by TIM, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and the winner is awarded the Coppa Campioni d'Italia. It has been operating for over ninety years since the 1929–30 season. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, when the Lega Serie A was created for the 2010–11 season. Serie A is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world and it is often depicted as the most tactical national league. Serie A was the world's second-strongest national league in 2014 according to IFFHS. Serie A is ranked third among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient, behind La Liga, Premier League, and ahead of Bundesliga and Ligue 1, which is based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League during the last five years. Serie A led the UEFA ranking from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999.

Yannis Anastasiou Greek footballer

Yannis Anastasiou is a Greek football manager and former footballer, who has been manager of Atromitos since May 2019.

Granada loan (20132014)

Karnezis made his Spanish La Liga debut for Granada in a 3–0 away loss to Almeria on 4 January 2014. [5] Karnezis had earlier in the season played in both legs of the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) against AD Alcorcón on 8 December 2013 and 18 December 2013.

Granada CF Spanish football club

Granada Club de Fútbol (Spanish pronunciation: [gɾaˈnaða ˈkluβ ðe ˈfuðβol], or simply Granada, is a Spanish football club in Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 6 April 1931, it plays in the Segunda División. The club plays its home matches at the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes.

Copa del Rey Spanish association football tournament

The Campeonato de España–Copa de Su Majestad el Rey, commonly known as Copa del Rey or simply La Copa, is an annual knockout football competition in Spanish football, organized by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

AD Alcorcón Spanish association footdball team

Agrupación Deportiva Alcorcón SAD is a Spanish football team based in Alcorcón, in the autonomous community of Madrid. Founded in 1971, it currently plays in Segunda División, holding home matches at the Municipal de Santo Domingo, with a 7,000 seat capacity.

On 12 April, Karnezis was the key player in a 1–0 home victory against Barcelona, saving a shot from Cesc Fàbregas and a 20-yard free-kick from Lionel Messi. Barça totalled 29 shots on goal, none of which succeeded in beating Karnezis. [6] [7]

FC Barcelona association football club in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Cesc Fàbregas Spanish footballer

Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas Soler is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Ligue 1 club Monaco and the Spain national team.

Lionel Messi Argentine footballer

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards, four of which he won consecutively, and a record six European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League trophies and six Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for the most goals in La Liga (419), a La Liga and European league season (50), the most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League (8), and the most assists in La Liga (167) and the Copa América (11). He has scored 695 senior career goals for club and country.


In his return to Udinese after the loan stint with Granada in La Liga, Karnezis made his Serie A debut in Udinese's 2–0 home victory over Empoli on 31 August 2014. On 9 November 2014, Udinese managed to scrap a 1–1 draw against Palermo as Karnezis parried a Franco Vazquez penalty. [8] On 15 March 2015, Andrea Stramaccioni praised Karnezis and Antonio Di Natale after Udinese picked up a point against Atalanta, by stating that throughout the year and not only in that game, Karnezis gave a sense of security to the squad, even without necessarily making difficult saves. [9]

Empoli F.C. Italian association football club

Empoli Football Club, commonly referred to as Empoli, is an Italian football club based in Empoli, Tuscany. Founded in 1920, the side is part of a select group of Italian football clubs that do not belong to a provincial capital city that have participated in the top-flight, where Empoli currently plays.

U.S. Città di Palermo professional Italian association football club

The Unione Sportiva Città di Palermo, known more simply as Palermo Calcio or Palermo, is an Italian football club based in Palermo. It was founded on 1 November 1900.

Andrea Stramaccioni Italian footballer

Andrea Stramaccioni is an Italian football manager and former player who last managed Czech club Sparta Prague.

Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that Napoli were interested in signing Karnezis after his remarkable 2014–15 season with Udinese. "It is too early", his agent Vasilis Panayotakis said. "We will see what happens after May 20, when we know what is really going on with the clubs that have shown interest. Karnezis is committed to Udinese until the end of the season, that is more important right now". [10] [11] During the season former Italian national goalkeeper Dino Zoff had heaped praise on both Karnezis and Mattia Perin, labelling the pair the best glovesmen in Serie A.“It’s going well, he’s young and can only get better: he is taking confidence that is essential for a goalkeeper. I think Karnezis and Perin are the best goalies in Series A.” [12]

On 14 May 2015, Udinese confirmed they were ready to sell Karnezis, to make room for Simone Scuffet. Roma were interested and he was linked with a move to the Giallorossi. "Karnezis could've gone to Benfica last summer, [13] but Andrea Stramaccioni decided to focus on his international experience," explained Udinese director Andrea Carnevale on TeleRadioStereo. "Now with his excellent season, he can go to a more important club. Our future is Simone Scuffet. We've been preserving him, as a season working as understudy to Karnezis has helped him to grow." [14] [15]

On 24 May 2015, in a home game against Sassuolo, Karnezis was injured. The hosts were forced to make their first substitution in the 29th minute, with Scuffet replacing Karnezis. [16] According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, discussions over a new agreement had begun and the 29-year-old goalkeeper was ready to put pen to paper, to extend his stay until 2020. Udinese Calcio had turned down offers from Roma, Inter, Napoli, Benfica and other European clubs. [17]


On 1 July 2015, Karnezis signed a new contract until June 2019 with the Friuli outfit. "Udinese Calcio announces the renewal with mutual satisfaction of the economic agreement in place with the goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis," read the statement. “The contract of the Bianconeri player will now expire on June 30, 2019." [18] [19] In the opening game of the 2015–16 season against champions Juventus, Karnezis had a particularly strong second-half iwhen Juve piled on the pressure, coming up with key saves and marshalling his backline to more effectively stop the Bianconeri forwards, helping his club to achieve a glorious win. [20] On 25 October 2015, he made key saves helping his club extended their unbeaten run in Serie A to four matches by edging to a 1–0 victory over Frosinone at the Stadio Friuli. [21] On 1 November 2015, in a 0–0 home draw against Sassuolo the visitors threatened with Gregoire Defrel who crashed in two strikes that had to be kept out by Karnezis. [22] On 8 November 2015, Karnezis kept his side level with two good pieces of goalkeeping, as Napoli continued to knock on the door, first when he dived low to keep out Gonzalo Higuaín's effort, before he smothered the ball at the feet of José Callejón minutes later, after Higuain had slipped the Spaniard through. Despite his saves, the club could not avoid a 1–0 away defeat. [23] On 20 December 2015, with his crucial saves, along with a late first half goal from his teammate Stipe Perica, who rifled a shot past the outstretched fingers of the ‘keeper to nestle inside the far post, and besides the fact that they finished the game with 10 players due to Molla Wague's expulsion, he helped his club to escape with a 1–0 away win against Torino. [24] On 9 January 2016, despite his remarkable save one-on-one on Cristian Zaccardo, sticking out a trailing foot to deny the angled drive, his club suffered a surprise 2–1 away loss against Carpi in the Serie A. [25] On 7 February 2016, in a 1–1 away draw against Milan, Karnezis was in fine form and produced sensational saves to deny Carlos Bacca, Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo kicks, helping his club to escape with a valuable draw. [26] On 24 April, thanks to Karnezis, mUdinese managed to keep the score down to 3–1 against Inter as he made some fantastic saves to deny Geoffrey Kondogbia, Marcelo Brozović and Ivan Perišić, to keep his side afloat. [27] On 14 May 2016, he was voted by the fans as the MVP of the club for the 2015–16 season. [28] On 15 May 2016, he set a new record for the 2015–16 season, as he was the only ever-present. [29]


Karnezis started the 2016–17 season as the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper for the club. On 11 December 2016, he put on a superb performance as Luigi Delneri’s men managed to win where teams like Roma couldn’t. If the 3–1 scoreline was harsh on Atalanta, it's because La Dea had a myriad of chances, but Karnezis denied plenty of goals. Without the keeper's wonder saves, the game could have gone very differently. In at least five cases he was superb, even stopping from his own teammate Silvan Widmer. [30] On overall, in December 2016 Karnezis had only been forced to pick the ball out of his own net once in the last four matches, with clean sheets against U.C. Sampdoria, F.C. Crotone and Bologna. On 5 February 2017, in a 0–0 away draw against Chievo, Karnezis reached 100 appearances with the jersey of the club in all competitions. On 19 February 2017, in a frustrating defeat against Sassuolo, he reached 100 appearances in the jersey of Udinese in Serie A, in a game where the Greek international performed a desperate double save on Matteo Politano and the Federico Ricci follow-up. On 12 March 2017, in a 3–1 away win against Pescara, he suffered an injury and replaced by his teammate Scuffed. Karnezis was diagnosed with a dislocated finger and a micro-fracture at the base of his right little finger. His hand was immobilised with a cast for the next three weeks. [31] On 9 April 2017, he returned to the squad in a 3-0 Serie A home game against Genoa C.F.C.

Karnezis was caught between Napoli and Watford for the next season. The Greek international turned 32 in July and was under contract with Udinese until June 2019. However, with Alex Meret returning from his loan at Spal and Simone Scuffet also on the books, the Friulani have no shortage of talented goalkeepers. According to sources, Karnezis would join Napoli and replace the increasingly shaky Pepe Reina, or even act as his understudy. He instead joined Marco Silva's Watford, to meet another former Greek international José Holebas. [32] [33] As a result of this possibility, since 14 May, Udinese's coach Luigi Delneri decided to start Simone Scuffet for the remaining matches of the season.


12 hours before the closure of the transfer market, Watford announced the signing of Karnezis on a one-season loan from Udinese. The 32-year old would compete with Heurelho Gomes for the starting place at Vicarage Road. [34] [35]

On 5 November 2017, in a 3–2 away loss against Everton, the club lost first-choice keeper Heurelho Gomes, who was taken off with a nasty head gash shortly before Christian Kabasele's goal. It proved to be the turning point, as Karnezis, on his Watford debut, was at fault for Everton's first when he came rushing out and Oumar Niasse darted past him and bundled the ball home. He was at fault for the second one too. [36] On 21 January 2018, he returned to the starting XI in a 2–0 away loss game against Leicester City While a 2–0 defeat, which proved to be Marco Silva’s final game in charge, was hardly the ideal place to make his bow, Karnezis was pleased with his display. [37] On 31 January 2018, in his third appearance in Premier League, Karnezis made a remarkable save on Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri's fierce volley kick, helping his club to gain a crucial point in its rally to stay in the League. His overall performance placed him in the best team of the matchday, becoming the first Watford keeper to keep a clean sheet in 12 Premier League outings. [38]


On 5 July 2018, Napoli announced the signing of Karnezis from Udinese on a three-season contract, for an estimated fee of €2.5 miilion. The 32-year old would compete with Alex Meret, a young promising Italian goalie, for the starting place at Stadio San Paolo. [39] On 17 August 2018, after Karnezis' mediocre appearances in the preparation matches, in the place of Meret who seriously injured a month ago, the administration of the club decided to acquire David Ospina in a long season contract from Arsenal F.C., who will take over as the leading goalie for the beginning of the 2018-19 season. [40] On 18 August 2018, despite the odds, he made his official debut with the club as a starter, in a 2-1 away win against S.S. Lazio.

On 26 February 2019, Karnezis has only made six official appearances this season. David Ospina, who is on loan at Udinese from Arsenal, took over as the club’s starting goalkeeper and is now the new number two since Meret has recovered from injury. Karnezis has dropped to the club’s third string goalie, but Napoli have decided to sign Karnezis on a permanent move as the club announced. [41]

International career

Karnezis's good performances led Greece national football team coach Fernando Santos to call him for a friendly match on 29 February 2012 against Belgium, in which he made his international debut, playing the entire game. Unfortunately for Karnezis, Fernando Santos didn't call him for UEFA Euro 2012 to be one of the three goalkeepers of the Greek national team. Fernando Santos said: "If Karnezis keeps going that way, he will be without a doubt in the squad of the Greek national team for the qualifying matches of Mundial 2014." And, indeed, he was called to be part of Greek national team both for a friendly game with Norway and for the qualifying matches after that. Karnezis was called by Greek national manager Fernando Santos to the 30 man provisional World Cup squad, and also to the final 23-man squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup. [42]

Career statistics


As of 26 May 2019 [43]
ClubSeasonLeagueCup [A] Europe Total
Panathinaikos 2007–08 10000010
2008–09 00000000
2009–10 10000010
2010–11 00400040
2011–12 2202000240
2012–13 29010100400
Granada 2013–14 602080
Udinese 2014–15 37000370
2015–16 38010390
2016–17 33010340
Watford 2017–18 15010160
Napoli 2018–19 90000090
Career total19101201002130


A.  ^ Includes appearances in the FA Community Shield and EFL Cup.


As of match played 23 March 2018
National teamYearAppsGoals
Greece 201270

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