I lied. Greece is next
Euro Group A
(You can click on the nation to see the previous posts)
Goalkeepers: Costas Chalkias (PAOK), Michalis Sifakis (Aris), Alexandros Tzorvas (Palermo).
Defenders: Vassilis Torosidis (Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos), Jose Holebas (Olympiakos), Stelios Malezas (PAOK), Giorgos Tzavelas (Monaco), Yiannis Maniatis (Olympiakos), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke).
Midfielders: Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos), Costas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Giorgos Fotakis (PAOK), Costas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern), Yiannis Fetfatzidis (Olympiakos), Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos/ Parma), Grigoris Makos (AEK Athens).
Forwards: Georgios Samaras (Celtic), Dimitris Salpigidis (PAOK), Costas Mitroglou (Atromitos), Nikos Lymberopoulos (AEK Athens), Fanis Gekas (Samsunspor).
Greece don't have much in terms of history. They only qualified for the 1994 and 2010 World Cup, both first round exits. Greece have made it to only 3 Euros (this will mark the 4th). They have only advanced out of the group stage in 1 of them. However, that one was when the won the contest in 2004.
Greece are called Ethniki (National) and Galanolefki (Blue-white). They play a very defensive style. I would compare them to this year's Chelsea. They ended up victorious by playing extremely defensively, getting one on the other side, and then getting extremely lucky.
Greece made it into the Euros by going undefeated against Croatia, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, and Malta. Not exactly a series of heavy favorites. They drew only 3 games and allowed just 5 goals.
The Greeks are managed by a Portuguese, Fernando Santos. He has a lot of experience coaching in Greece and became the manager internationally in 2010. Greece will play with a 4-3-3/4-5-1 hybrid in an effort to play more attractive football. They emphasis team unity. The team wears white home kits and blue away ones. Greece are number 15 in the world and 11th in Europe. As shown by their failings at the highest stage, they are not that good (USA and Mexico are both ranked lower despite both teams being quite a bit better).
Players of Mention
Greece play defensively. Therefore, their defense is key. This man is key to that defense. He is the anchor and the center of the team. He will likely never be as famous as Socrates (the Brazilian footballer and the philosopher).
This might be Greeks most talented attacking player. He could be their future prodigy. But he might not shine thanks to defensive football.
This man is the captain. At 35, he has 117 caps. I think it might be asking a bit much for him to play in the next international tournament. He has had time at Benfica and Inter. He has 8 goals at the international level.
It says something when the best that any of your players can do is Celtic in Scotland. Samaras has 54 caps with only 7 goals. He is very good in the air (in part thanks to his height- 6 ft 4) and will likely be used as a target man. Of note, he prefers striker but often plays as a left mid for Celtic.
Chances at Euro 2012
"There is almost no chance that Greece can repeat their exploits of 2004". I did not say that, I am merely quoting another source. They may be able to get out of their soft group of Poland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. But if that happens, it is expected that they fall to the Netherlands or Germany. If it's not those two, Greece will still have to deal with Portugal and/or Denmark, both teams that are much better than Greece.
Matches to Watch
Poland vs. Greece
This is interesting because of it's the opener. Greece play woefully boring soccer so don't expect excitement from the other games unless they fall apart. Their other games may very well look like this.
Group Stage Exit. Plain and Simple.
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