This week's Global LFC Family feature turns the focus onto Greece, with Efstratios Sakkias casting light on the passionate support for Liverpool FC in his country and what prompted his love for the Reds.
Name: Efstratios Sakkias
City/country: Thessaloniki, Greece
Job: Owner of a school for people that want to learn foreign languages
Why did you pick Liverpool as your team?
When I was a kid I was very interested in learning football history. I also liked the English Premier League a lot. Reading history and watching English football equals supporting LFC. An additional factor for me in choosing to support LFC during my childhood was Michael Owen, who was my favourite player at that time.
What's your earliest LFC memory?
My earliest LFC memory of being a supporter was watching Liverpool lose to Manchester United in the FA Cup in 1996. When we won the UEFA cup against Alaves in Dortmund in 2001 I was the second youngest person on the trip from Greece, and then I attended my first game at Anfield on my 18th birthday against Kiev.
How did people in Greece follow Liverpool's fortunes at first?
As I mentioned before, most Liverpool fans here in Greece started to support Liverpool because of the history. I also believe that this incredible aura that LFC has is recognised much more here in Greece. Many people that I know who have attended a game at Anfield have changed their football team to Liverpool even if they didn't support them before. Recently, the most famous Greek website in the sports field ran a huge poll asking which team Greeks support; LFC came third after Barcelona and Real Madrid, and first in the Premier League.
Was it difficult to find out news or see the match?
Not really. Nowadays, with the internet and social media so much a part of our lives, everyone can very easily find whatever information they need. Almost all LFC games are televised live in Greece and obviously the club now has a Greek Twitter account as well - the only club outside of Greece to do that for fans.
Who was your first LFC hero and why?
In the beginning it was Michael Owen because he was something special during that time. He did lots of amazing things even when he was only 18 years old, but Steven Gerrard, for me, is someone unique. I am very glad that I have met him a couple of times at Melwood and in the lounges at Anfield.
What is your favourite LFC memory?
No doubt - Istanbul. 120 people got on three buses and travelled for eight to nine hours from Thessaloniki to Turkey for a night that we will never forget. I can't forget thousands of people, men, women and kids, crying when we won this game!
Who has been your favourite Liverpool manager and why?
Bill Shankly, of course, but during my Liverpool lifetime, it has to be Rafa Benitez.
What has been your lowest point supporting Liverpool?
I am very sad during the last few years that the team cannot be in the top four and not playing in the Champions League. For me, the Champions League without Liverpool FC is not such a nice competition but still we support and believe!
How many times have you been to Anfield?
Around 100 times. I manage to travel four to five times per year now and during my studies in Liverpool, I rarely missed a game.
Where were you while we were in Istanbul?
At the ground with the Liverpool fans in the central section. I remember every single second of it - I'll never forget a huge guy in front of me crying like a little kid.
Do Liverpool have a passionate fan base in Greece?
Yes. Greeks love Liverpool FC. As I mentioned before, LFC is one of the most popular international clubs in Greece. There are three supporters' club branches in Greece. There are two in Athens and one in Thessaloniki. I am very happy to be running the Thessaloniki branch and helping people to get to know what LFC is.
Which team are considered Liverpool's biggest rivals in your country?
Where do you go online to follow news about LFC?
Mostly the official LFC website, @GreeceLFC on Twitter and the Sky Sports website too. There is also lots of news about LFC on several Greek websites which are very well informed and updated.
Do you also support a local team?
The Greek league is not so good but I used to watch Greek teams playing in Europe and mostly Panathinaikos.
Who is your favourite current player and why?
Steven Gerrard - a real captain and, for me, the best ever midfielder in the world.
If you could meet anyone connected to Liverpool FC - past or present - who would it be and why?
I want to meet King Kenny one day. He is one of the biggest parts of the LFC story and a great man.
What makes you most proud to be a Liverpool supporter?
The aura that this football club has and the way we support it! The Liverpool way!
Finally, what does 'the Liverpool way' mean to you?
The Liverpool way is what we love, like and support. That's why we are Liverpool fans.
Click here to follow the official LFC Greek Twitter account, @GreeceLFC.
Previous articles in the LFC Global Family series
South Africa - Melissa Reddy>>
Thailand - Jeerawan Duangnam Herriot>>
Australia - Wayne Psaila>>
Mexico - Victor Alvarado>>
Indonesia - Andhika Sarwendha Suksmana>>
Nepal - Nischal Adhikari>>
Ghana - Aristo Dotse>>
India - Kaushal Goyal>>
Singapore - Henry Hann>>
Bahrain - Mohamed Ashoor>>
Mongolia - Amarsaikhan Orsoo>>
Vietnam - Pham Quynh Le>>
USA - July 4th Special>>
Iran - Mohammad Reza Rahimi>>
South Korea - Yong-Suk Choi>>
Norway - Arild Skjæveland>>
Russia - Ivan Potapov>>
Myanmar - Khin Maung Cho>>
USA - Roy Yates>>
China - Chen Jing>>
Brazil - Bárbara Rubio>>
Kenya - Mitesh Chavda>>
Spain - Luis Gutierrez>>
Venezuela - Jorge De Castro>>