Euro 2012 Greece vs Russia

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Capello Blames Laser Pointer For Loss

Fabio Capello has tried to blame a few incidents for Russia’s World Cup exit at the group stage in a move that has been heavily criticised. Russia were on the verge of qualifying for the last 16 of the World Cup, but they needed to get a victory against Algeria in the final group match. Capello’s men, however, could only manage 1-1 draw in the match, and as a result, bowed out of the competition. Since the Euro 2008, Russia have not been performing well in major international tournaments and the trend has continued with the World Cup 2014 as well.

Despite this, Capello maintained that pressure played extremely well in the match. He pointed out to the laser beam that was pointed at the eye of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev as the reason for the goal that they conceded. Russia had taken the lead as early as in the sixth minute through Kokorin. Like every other Capello team, they went into defensive mode since then. The Europeans ultimately paid the ultimate price in the 60th minute when Algeria equalised from a set piece. This is likely to infuriate the Russian top officials, who have already been of the opinion that Capello is receiving a lot of salary.

The former England manager is believed to be earning more than £ 6 million per year. “We played an excellent game. I qualified your national team to the World Cup and European Championships. We reached the last 16 [in South Africa] and it was because of us that goalline technology came in. The figures say I did a pretty good job. OK? Russia had also not qualified for the World Cup in 12 years,” said Capello.

He also said that he is happy to stay as the national team manager of Russia if the Russian Federation wants him.

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Katsouranis Dismisses Suggestions Of Rift In dressing Room

Greece vice-captain Kostas Katsouranis has dismissed suggestions that there is a major rift inside the dressing room, which first started with the fallout – in front of the public – from his club teammate Giannis Maniatis. Both players are regarded as the most experienced in the Greek national team, but they came to blows in the recent Greek cup semi-final. The 34-year-old Katsouranis had to be separated from his teammates and he also received a red card for coming to blows with the Olympiakos star Maniatis. Katsouranis plays for Greek outfit PAOK.

Katsouranis has accepted that it was a mistake on his part. He has since apologised for the incident, but it is thought to have created a division within the Greek camp ahead of the World Cup 2014. The players will be looking to send off manager Fernando Santos in the best possible manner. Santos recently announced that he will be stepping down from the post after the World Cup 2014. This will be coming up against Portugal in a pre-tournament friendly match. They are expected to be one of the teams fighting to qualify for the knockout stages, as their group contains teams of equal strength.

The Europeans will be coming up against the likes of Colombia, Ivory Coast, and Japan. Their first match of the tournament will be against Colombia. “We have talked about it a lot and I think it was a mistake from all aspects. As vice captain of the team and one of the most senior players who has been in the squad since Euro 2004, I think I have a large responsibility, I was in the wrong and I have explained this to Giannis many times. We need to stick together. Sometimes you lose control and I think that since making my national team debut in 2003 I’ve never had such an issue,” said the vice-captain.

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