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19/04/2018 13:00
#CEVChallengeCupW MVP Christodoulou recounts historic success
2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women

Piraeus, Greece, April 19, 2018. Styliani Christodoulou and Olympiacos PIRAEUS made history last week as the Greek team celebrated a major triumph in the 2018 edition of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Women after dethroning titleholders BURSA BBSK of Turkey in a repeat of the 2017 final. Their result is truly unprecedented in Greek Volleyball history – and team captain Styliani, aka Stella, added to that the award for the Most Valuable Player of the #CEVChallengeCupW final matches. It has been a truly ‘golden moment’ for Olympiacos and for Christodoulou as well – something she is happy to recount.

What do you think is the main reason that helped you make it to the top of the Challenge Cup?

I think that this success story starts from the Club Administration, as they have been able to keep the club in a leading position in all sports in Greece and Europe even throughout a difficult period. Moreover, the coaching staff and more specifically the head coach Branko Kovacevic have instilled a different mentality in the last two years and they helped all the players do their best when performing on the court. There is a very good chemistry among the coaching staff and the players.

Your career is full of successes and titles, including this year’s Challenge Cup. Which is the most important for you?

Surely, winning a European title is the most important moment in my career this far and the one I stand out for; it was a dream come true. Of course, every title I have won is important and holds a special place in my heart.

Was there any moment you felt disappointed and thought that everything was about to end?

Surely, sports include disappointment, defeats and difficulties. However, all of them make you stronger and better. The successes and the pleasant moments make you forget everything. I love very much what I do and I never thought I would give up.

What is that makes the foreign players feel a part of the team so fast?

I think that the club works under highly professional standards, offering a sense of security to the foreign players at all levels. It is worth mentioning that most of the foreign athletes talk about the best organisation they have ever seen. It also offers a family atmosphere that you feel from the first moment. Finally, Greece is a very beautiful country and it is difficult for anyone living here not to love it.

The Team Manager, Mr Nikos Katsiouras stated a few days ago in response to those that urge you and your teammates to play abroad that the best moments come when playing for Olympiacos. What do you think about it?

In the last years, the teammates I have been playing with in the national team and myself have received some transfer bids from foreign clubs but we decided to continue playing for Olympiacos. Some criticised it as a lack of interest in what we are doing and that we do not set higher goals. However, together with the club we had identified our goals, including winning a European trophy and of course, we trusted the club. I am pleased that our victory in the Challenge Cup was the best answer to these comments and finally, our choices were right.

What is next for Stella after this successful year?

Now, we are focusing on the final goal of the team, which is winning the Greek national league so that we can finish this season with a treble. Then, I will align my future goals with those of the club.

Is there anything that you would like to dedicate more time to but you cannot do because of the heavy workload?

I have studied and I graduated in Sports Science. I want to attend a master’s degree in psychology having the ultimate goal of working in a school as I love children. Surely, the heavy workload does not allow me to do that but this is something that I will do in the future.

There is a hope that many players, especially the younger ones, would like to follow your example, reach your level and win titles. What would you suggest to them?

I would recommend to all children to do sport, find the one they love and would like to follow. Sports contribute to a healthy lifestyle and shapes your character as well. Moreover, I recommend them to have values, be fair with their teammates and never stop trying. There may be difficult moments but at the end, it is worth all of your efforts.

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