Greece National Football team profile

Many people remember Greece for their shock triumph in the UEFA EURO 2004, where they lifted the trophy when no one expected them to. Greece might not be gifted with the big name players in world football but they continue to defy the odds under wily coach Otto Rehhagel. Despite the odds, they managed to clinch qualification for only their second FIFA World Cup finals and are in South Africa to mean business.

Greece are in Group B where they must get good results from Korea Republic, Argentina and Africa’s soccer powerhouse Nigeria to qualify from the group stages and be able to get a chance to shine at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

South Africa 2010 will be coach Rehhagel’s first FIFA World Cup finals, where he is set to be the oldest soccer strategist on show. After a glittering career in his homeland, the German boss has earned worldwide recognition for his achievements with the Greek national team since taking over in 2001.

Greece National footbal team

With Greece having only reached one FIFA World Cup and one European Championship prior to his arrival, within three years of taking the post Rehhagel had guided the Greeks to EURO glory, before going on to clinch qualification for both EURO 2008 and South Africa 2010.

“The players have been rewarded for their incredible passion and competitive spirit. We said that before achieving success you need to have the Gods on your side,” says Otto Rehhagel, Greece coach.

Greece kicked off South Africa 2010 qualifying in impressive fashion, picking up victories over Luxembourg, Latvia and Moldova, scoring eight times and conceding none in the process.

The 2004 European champions subsequently suffered their first loss in Group 2 when going down 2-1 at home to Switzerland, their clearest rivals for an automatic qualifying berth. After bouncing back with four points from their double-header against Israel, drawing 1-1 away and winning 2-1 at home, the Helvetians then undid the Greeks once more – this time triumphing 2-0 on Swiss soil.

Rehhagel’s troops then allowed Switzerland to extend their advantage in the standings by only drawing 1-1 in Moldova, a result that also brought Latvia back into the hunt for second. A thumping 5-2 victory over the latter in Greece’s penultimate group match virtually clinched a play-off spot, however, which was sealed by the final day 2-1 win against Luxembourg.

The European Zone play-off draw pitted captain Georgios Karagounis and Co against Ukraine, opponents who had taken four points from the Greeks in Group 2 of qualifying for Germany 2006. This time around, after a 0-0 draw in Athens, Greece grabbed a 1-0 second-leg success in Donetsk, the decisive goal coming from Dimitrios Salpingidis.

The star players of Greece
There will be no shortage of experience for the Greeks to call on come South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup. Chief among their veteran performers are defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who played more qualifying minutes than any other squad member, and former Inter Milan and Benfica midfielder Karagounis. Nor are they slouches going forward, boasting as they do ten-goal Theofanis Gekas – the top scorer in European Zone qualifying – and the physical presence of four-goal Angelos Charisteas, scorer of the winner in the final at EURO 2004.

Records of Greece as they play FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa
• Greece will be determined to improve on their showing at USA 1994, where they sank to group-stage defeats against Argentina (4-0), Bulgaria (4-0) and Nigeria (2-0) and headed for home at the first hurdle.

• That competition on United States’ soil was the Greeks’ first and only previous appearance at the finals of a FIFA World Cup.

Greece National Football Team Squad FIFA 2010 World Cup

Nr. Name Date of Birth Position Clubs Height
1 Konstantinos CHALKIAS 30/05/1974 GK PAOK (GRE) 198
2 Giourkas SEITARIDIS 04/06/1981 DF Panathinaikos (GRE) 185
3 Christos PATSATZOGLOU 19/03/1979 DF Omonia (CYP) 183
4 Nikos SPIROPOULOS 10/10/1983 DF Panathinaikos (GRE) 171
5 Vangelis MORAS 26/08/1981 DF Bologna (ITA) 193
6 Alexandros TZIOLIS 13/02/1985 MF Siena (ITA) 190
7 Georgios SAMARAS 21/02/1985 FW Celtic (SCO) 192
8 Avraam PAPADOPOULOS 03/12/1984 DF Olympiacos (GRE) 186
9 Angelos CHARISTEAS 09/02/1980 FW Nuremberg (GER) 191
10 Georgios KARAGOUNIS 06/03/1977 MF Panathinaikos (GRE) 176
11 Loukas VYNTRA 05/02/1981 DF Panathinaikos (GRE) 184
12 Alexandros TZORVAS 12/08/1982 GK Panathinaikos (GRE) 190
13 Michail SIFAKIS 09/09/1984 GK Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) 186
14 Dimitrios SALPINGIDIS 18/08/1981 FW Panathinaikos (GRE) 171
15 Vasileios TOROSIDIS 10/06/1985 DF Olympiacos (GRE) 185
16 Sotirios KYRGIAKOS 23/07/1979 DF Liverpool (ENG) 192
17 Theofanis GEKAS 23/05/1980 FW Hertha Berlin (GER) 179
18 Sotiris NINIS 03/04/1990 MF Panathinaikos (GRE) 173
19 Sokratis PAPASTATHOPOULOS 09/06/1988 DF Genoa (ITA) 186
20 Pantelis KAPETANOS 08/06/1983 FW Steaua (ROU) 190
21 Konstantinos KATSOURANIS 21/06/1979 MF Panathinaikos (GRE) 183
22 Stelios MALEZAS 11/03/1985 DF PAOK (GRE) 192
23 Athanasios PRITTAS 09/01/1979 MF Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) 185


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