Panathinaikos coach Jesualdo Ferreira has played down the significance of captain Kostas Katsouranis's sacking

Kostas Katsouranis: Axed by club

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Panathinaikos have played down the significance of the sacking of captain Kostas Katsouranis this week.

Pana have won 20 Greek titles in their 104-year history, but they have found life tough of late, thanks mainly to several high-profile transfer flops and the recent economic crisis in Greece.

They are 12th in the Greek Super League after winning one of their opening five games and sacked their captain Kostas Katsouranis on Wednesday after he fell out with the club's president over disciplinary issues.

The 33-year-old midfielder, who has 98 caps, had been issued with a six-match domestic ban for insulting a referee in August's game against PAS Giannina.

Panathinaikos manager Jesualdo Ferreira tried to play down the significance of the sacking.

"Mr Katsouranis has been out of the team a lot anyway," said Ferreira, who managed Porto before Villas-Boas took over in 2010.

"He hasn't played much because of his suspension so questions about him don't have any depth or any important meaning for us."