Injured PAOK captain comes off bench to celebrate club's first title in 34 years
PAOK brought captain Vieirinha off the bench a week after he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament just so he could be on the pitch as the club celebrated their first Greek Super League title in 34 years on Sunday.
Portugal international Vieirinha, 33, sustained the injury in the 1-1 draw at Larissa last week, finding out a day later the severity of the issue, which will likely keep him out of action for at least six months.
But, with a first Super League title in a generation within touching distance, neither PAOK nor Vieirinha allowed the situation to ruin a historic moment.
Already-relegated Levadiakos were the visitors on Sunday and PAOK made light work of them in a 5-0 thrashing, securing the win they needed to put themselves out of Olympiakos' reach.
They raced into a two-goal lead after just eight minutes, before adding another three in the second half in a comprehensive victory.
The comfort of the win allowed for Vieirinha – his right knee heavily strapped up – to enter the pitch in the first minute of stoppage time.
Right-back Vieirinha, who is in his second spell at the club, was the centre of much of the post-match celebrations despite his difficulty walking.
PAOK's supporters subsequently lit flares all around their Toumba Stadium as they waited for the team to re-emerge, with the club crowned Greek champions for only the third time in their history.
Their last title came in 1984-85.