THE WAY TO THE EURO
Team Greece has not suffered a single defeat in the group stage (7 wins, 3 draws), but her journey to Poland and Ukraine can not be called smooth. Although the Greeks took 4 points from Croatia (2:0, 0:0), in the last match against Georgia, which decided the fate of the first place, they have ten minutes before the end lost with a score of 0-1. Fortunately for them, midfielder Georgios Fotakis first equalized, and five minutes before the final whistle does not fade away Angelos Charisteas, by winning goal in the final of Euro 2004, got a ticket for the team to Poland and Ukraine.Total Greece scored in qualifying 14 goals, the worst result among the finalists of Euro 2012.
Fernando Santos.An engineer by profession (hence his nickname Mechanic), the Portuguese Fernando Santos, who completed a career professional player in 21 years, since the late 80s he worked at home with the clubs, “Estoril”, “Estrela Amadora” and “Port”, while in 2001, are not moved to Greece. AEK, “Panathinaikos”, AEK again, and between them the Portuguese, “Sporting” and “Benfica”, but in 2007, Santos podspisal three-year contract with PAOK and this ended his journey. In Portugal, from Santos were winning the championship and the Cup of the country, in Greece – in the Cup.When in 2010 after the World Cup in South Africa needed to replace the German Otto Rehhagel, who led the national team since 2001 and which won Euro 2004, the best candidate was not found. 57-year-old Portuguese feel at home in Greece, Greek-speaking and promises to be a worthy successor of King Otto. “Rehhagel and his players – a golden age of Greek football – says Santos. – But it is over, now begins a new era. My working methods differ from those of my predecessor, but the purpose of the former. And to achieve it, the team is ready to give everything in Greece is 100 percent. ”
Georgios Karagounis,Everything changes, but Karagounis remains. Greece midfielder and “Panathinaikos”, the color of which he protects with 2007, the first match for the national team had back in 1999. Medium height (176 cm), which does not have outstanding physique, 35-year-old Karagounis, however, it is the player that holds the middle line of the Greeks. Hard, tough, a fighter to the bone – it is about Karagounis. Head coach Fernando Santos knows his opportunities – they worked together in “Panathinaikos” and “Benfica”. Karagounis also played for the Italian “Roma” (2003-2005), which also was not on the sidelines, and which won the Italian Cup. In the history of the Greek national team, he became not only as a footballer, who spent more than 100 games, but as the author of the first goal in the victory for the Greeks of Euro 2004.
COMPOSITION AND TACTICS
“We have the best line of defense from all participants in the Euro”, – says Santos, who worthily continued the traditions established by Rehhagel. The Greeks did not seek to compete with a rival in speed, do not run forward at breakneck speed, completely eliminate the risk. Shoot down the tempo, use someone else’s mistake to score with the standard – that at first glance, some simple recipes of Greek victories. For any team experienced the Greeks, namely, they were doing and are betting team coaches, bad opponent.