Greece Team Fact Box

2010-05-11 11:45
Previous appearances in finals: 1

Nickname: The Pirate Ship

Best performance: Group stage 1994

Coach: German Otto Rehhagel, now 71, took over in 2001 and has seen his team win Euro 2004, qualify for Euro 2008 and make it to their second World Cup finals.

Captain: Giorgos Karagounis

Key players:

Giorgos Karagounis
Age: 32
Position: Midfielder
Club: Panathinaikos
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances (2002, 2006, 2010): 28
Goals: 3

One of only a handful of players left from the Euro 2004-winning squad, he has emerged as the team's natural leader. Has played for Inter Milan and Benfica and can single-handedly turn a game with fierce free kicks and long-range goals.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Age: 30
Position: Defender
Club: Liverpool
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances (2006, 2010): 14
Goals: 0

Most influential figure in defence, tall and powerful, Kyrgiakos follows a long tradition of strong central defenders in Rehhagel's teams. Often goes forward for set pieces and scores goals with his head.

Theofanis Gekas
Age: 29
Position: Forward
Club: Bayen Leverkusen
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances (2006, 2010): 15
Goals: 10

The speedy former Bundesliga top scorer can be deadly, his pace and goal instinct helping him to score 10 goals in the qualifying campaign.

FIFA world ranking May 2010: 12

How they qualified: Greece won a two-legged playoff against Ukraine. After drawing 0-0 at home, the Greeks scored a memorable 1-0 win in Donetsk. Greece had finished second in their group behind Switzerland after losing both matches against the Swiss.

Prospects: Greece will be tough nuts to crack. On a good day they can cause a major upset but it would be a surprise to see them progress past the group stage.

World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Costas Halkias (PAOK), Alexandros Tzorvas (Panathinaikos), Michael Sifakis (Aris)

Defenders: Lukas Vyntra, Giorgos Seitaridis and Nikos Spyropoulos (Panathinaikos), Vangelis Moras (Bologna/ITA), Avraam Papadopoulos and Vasilis Torosidis (Olympiakos), Sotiris Kyrgiakos (Liverpool/ENG), Stelios Malezas (PAOK), Socrates Papastathopoulos (Genoa/ITA)

Midfielders: Costas Katsouranis, Sotiris Ninis and Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos), Christos Patsatzoglou (Omonia/CYR), Alexandros Tziolis (Siena/ITA), Sakis Prittas (Aris), Angelos Haristeas (FC Nuremberg/GER)

Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (Panathinaikos), Fanis Gekas (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic/SCO), Pantelis Kapetanos (Steaua Bucharest/ROM)


Key Greece midfielder Giorgos Karagounis (right). (AFP)
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