Hearts: Alexandros Tziolis says former star sold him on move

Hearts midfielder Alexandros Tziolis (left) and Christos Karipidis
Alexandros Tziolis (left) says former Hearts star Christos Karipidis told him about the warmth of the supporters

Midfielder Alexandros Tziolis says former Hearts star Christos Karipidis sold him on a move to Tynecastle.

Greece midfielder Tziolis signed a short-term deal until the summer and made his Hearts debut in the 4-1 win against Rangers.

"I spoke to him [Karipidis] and he told me all about the best of the club, the city and the supporters - that helps me a lot," he said.

"The style of football is a bit different but football is football."

Tziolis, 31, agreed a switch to Hearts after being freed by PAOK Salonica and speaking to close friend Karipidis, who starred for the club between 2006 and 2008.

"I asked him [Karipidis] what he thought," said the midfielder. "He told me it's a very good opportunity for you to go there, play in a stadium that's always full with supporters who are always very warm about the team and I took the decision after those good words."

Tziolis, who has 62 caps, admits he only knows some "basic things" about Scottish football and sees his move as an opportunity to learn more about Scotland's top flight.

Hearts assistant coach Austin McPhee played an instrumental part in Tziolis' move, after seeing him playing while in his other role as assistant manager of Northern Ireland.

"My agent told me about the interest and Mr Austin called me and we spoke and he told me he knew me from the national team," Tziolis added.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Hearts 4-1 Rangers

"I haven't played much football this season, maybe only two international matches in a few months. But that's in the past, now I'm here and you can be sure I will give everything to help the team."

After playing for 30 minutes against Rangers, Tziolis is ready to start against Motherwell this weekend. And he is already thinking about the upcoming Edinburgh derby on 12 February, after the city rivals were drawn against each other in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.

"Everyone is talking about this match," he said. "I have played derbies in Greece ask me after that match about the difference."

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: