Despite having lesser known players, Greece managed to seal a place in the World Cup 2014, which will be held in Brazil. A lot of praise has gone to manager Fernando Santos, who has stated that Greece were able to qualify because they believed in themselves. The nation, which surprised everyone by winning the Euro 2004, are not one of the candidates to win the World Cup. However, they are expected to get past the group stages and make an appearance in the knockout phase.
They have been grouped alongside teams like Ivory Coast and Japan. They are considered as good teams, but not exceptional when compared with Greece. Hence, Santos is confident of creating an impact at the World Cup. The nation did not manage to qualify for the tournament automatically, but had to do it through the play-offs. They managed to beat Romania 4-2 in the play-offs. Despite a national level financial crisis, Santos has lauded the attitude of the fans, who have been supporting their team by travelling for most of the away matches.
As for the tournament itself, Santos says that Greece are targeting getting out of the group stages first and foremost. If they do so, this would be the first time Greece have qualified for the knockout stages.
“We’re definitely aiming to get through the group phase, which is something Greece have never achieved at the World Cup. That’s the dream. We’re aiming to get off to a winning start and also try and slightly change the image people have of Greek football. If we can do that, I think we’re in with a chance of getting through the group phase. After that, it’s about taking things one game at a time. One thing’s for sure: we’re not going to Brazil just to see the sights,” said Santos.
Greece Supporters Movie Rating: / 5
Greece Supporters Video clip Ranking: 5 / 5
Greece Fans Movie Rating: four / five
Greek striker Giorgios Samaras has said that he is still waiting for a new contract from Celtic. The striker is now free to talk with clubs and sign a pre-contract agreement. This is because he has less than six months left on his current deal. It has left his future at Celtic Park in doubt. After losing Gary Hooper to Norwich in the summer, Celtic would want to keep the Greek international at the club. The 28-year-old is one of the experienced players in the squad. Even though Celtic have no competition to the Scottish Premier league, they need the presence of such experienced players for the Champions League.
The player’s agent Rodger Linse has said that there has been no offer from Celtic, but his client is not worried about the situation. This is because Samaras has been the game long enough to know that he will find a solution to the situation. The former Manchester City striker struggled to score goals in the Premier league, but he has been a hit at Celtic Park. He scored 14 goals in 40 appearances last season. He looks unlikely to reach the tally this season, as he has only eight so far.
He has been at Celtic since the 2007-08 season. The Greek international has represented the national team at three major tournaments.
“I have not had an official meeting with Celtic regarding Georgios’s situation and therefore there hasn’t been any offer either. Georgios is very relaxed about the situation. We all know how football works. Celtic have all the right in the world to take the initiative to organise a meeting about Georgios and if they don’t want to then they don’t have to. We are perfectly relaxed about the situation and Celtic will come to us when they are ready,” said Linse.
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