Greece, the Euro 2004 champions, comfortably qualified for Euro 2008 after winning 10 of their 12 qualifying games to head Group C with 31 points. During the 14-month campaign, they only lost once, a 4-1 defeat to Turkey, who finished in second place and also qualified.
Greece won their first three games against Moldova, Norway and Bosnia-Herzegovina and although the Turkey setback followed, consecutive wins against Malta, Hungary and Moldova meant they never looked in any real danger of missing the tournament. A draw against Norway was then followed by repeat victories over Bosnia-Herzegovina, Malta and Hungary and a revenge defeat over Turkey booked Greece’s place at Euro 2008.
Greece’s hopes of reaching the latter stages of the competition will rest on the shoulders of strikers Theofanis Gekas and Nikos Liberopoulos, while defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos will also be looking to chip in after the three goals he scored in the qualifiers. At the back, goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis may be 36 but he is as dependable as ever and will be looking to repeat the form that saw him voted the best ‘keeper in the tournament in 2004.
Greece are in Group D with Russia and Spain — two sides who were also in Group A with them in 2004 — as well as Sweden, and German manager Otto Rehhagel will be quietly confident his side can advance to the latter stages of the tournament. Although winning Euro 2008 looks unlikely, the same sentiment was also expressed before the last tournament — so a second Greece shock should not be entirely discounted.
Greece Euro 2008 Squad:
Head coach: Otto Rehhagel
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