'Greek Messi' back for second spell at Panathinaikos

Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece midfielder Sotiris Ninis returned to his first club Panathinaikos on Thursday after agreeing a two-and-a-half year contract.

He left in 2012 to join Serie A outfit Parma but found it difficult to recapture the form he showed at Panathinaikos where he was labelled the ‘Greek Messi’.

Ninis, who has scored three goals in 30 appearances for his country, had a spell on loan at PAOK Salonika last season but has been without a club since having his deal with Parma terminated in August.

"I'm very happy to be returning to Panathinaikos, the club that is my home," the 24-year-old said in a statement. "I can't wait to play in front of the supporters again.

"I want to thank the club's administration for putting their trust in me again, giving me the chance to play football at a high level."

Ninis was aged 16 when he became the second youngest player to represent Panathinaikos in a league match.

(Writing by Graham Wood, editing by Tony Jimenez)