GreecePosted on: 05 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
The current European Champions will need a little help from Alexander if they're to retain their crown.
Coach: Otto Rehhagel (69) (Ger) Guided the complete outsiders to a shock championship title at the last European Championships.
Away From The Game
Famous Export: Aristotle (mathematician), Pythagoras (mathematician), Alexander The Great (conqueror), Olympic Games.
National Food: Moussaka (egg-plant based dish), fasolada (soup of dry white beans, olive oil, and vegetables), Greek salad.
National Drink: Sweet dessert wines of Samos and Mavrodaphne and retsina (wine with added pine resin). Ouzo, an aniseed-flavoured spirit, is usually drunk with water.
National Animal: Owl
Star: Kostas Katsouranis (28) Benfica (Por), Effective defensive midfielder with a fierce shot and likes to let fly no matter how far from goal.
Hidden Gem: Giorgos Karagounis (31) Panathinaikos, a hard-working midfielder with very good passing skills. Deadly from set-pieces.
How They Qualified: Winners Group C ahead of Turkey, Norway, Bosnia, Moldova, Hungary and Malta.
Previous Best: Winners 2004
FIFA Ranking: 8
Key Fact: The Greeks odds for winning Euro 2004 ranged from as far as 80/1 to 150/1 before the tournament began. Nobody predicted the outsiders to come anywhere near to challenging for the title.
Overview: Despite not qualifying for the last World Cup, Rehhagel’s Greek side are defending champions after their shock win in 2004. Picking up more points in qualification than any other nation (31) they are now up with the front-runners this time around. A lot depends on keeping things tight at the back but Greece have more than enough up their sleeve to reach at least the last eight.
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