Katsouranis: We'll beat the Germans in shootout

By George Georgakopoulos

Defensive midfielder Costas Katsouranis, who had predicted that Greece would beat Russia 1-0, dared to forecast on Sunday that the Blues will beat Germany in a penalty shootout on Friday.

?We will advance in the penalties against Germany, we will score all spot kicks there, that?s why we missed them in the previous games,? said Katsouranis half-jokingly, reflecting the mood of the Greek camp after Saturday?s win.

Asked whether Greece could repeat the triumph of 2004, he turned much more serious: ?We may have been saying it like a joke that we had four games to play, but we also believed it. I don?t know how far we will go, but this is very big for the team and for the entire country.

?All 23 players who were in Portugal [in 2004] contributed to the national team. The lads who have retired have left us something important. The groundwork has been laid for us to continue to be present in major tournaments. We should retain this groundwork laid in the last decade.?

National team players confirmed that Russian deputy Ivan Savvidis, who has Greek ancestry and intends to buy a controlling stake in PAOK, promised the squad a 1-million-euro bonus.