SPORTS

Mitroglou in Greece's provisional World Cup squad

Fulham striker Costas Mitroglou, who has barely played this year due to a knee injury, was included in a 30-man provisional World Cup squad reluctantly revealed by coach Fernando Santos on Wednesday.

Santos had previously stated that he would not announce his provisional squad, only his final selection of 23 players, on May 19.

However, following the circulation of an inaccurate squad list on various international media websites, the Portuguese coach opted to end the speculation.

Mitroglou, who joined the London club from Olympiakos Piraeus for 11 million pounds ($18.52 million)in January, played for only two hours in three matches as the club was relegated.

However, his three goals in the 4-2 aggregate playoff victory over Romania that took Greece to the finals have obviously kept him in favor.

The 26-year-old's team-mate Giorgos Karagounis, the Greece captain with 132 caps but who played only 14 times for Fulham this season, was also named in the squad, along with other experienced campaigners such as midfielder Costas Katsouranis and Giorgos Samaras, who is leaving Celtic this summer.

Contrary to the inaccurate squad released by some news sites, goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis (Atromitos), defender Dimitris Siovas (Olympiakos) and midfielder Sotiris Ninis (PAOK) have not made the provisional squad, while there are places for defenders Nikos Karabelas (Levante) and Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona) and strikers Nikos Karelis (Panathinaikos), Stefanos Athanasiadis (PAOK) and Dimitris Papadopoulos (Atromitos).

Greece faces Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C in Brazil.

Greece squad:

Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panayiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos), Alexandros Tzorvas (Apollon Smyrnis).

Defenders: Avraam Papadopoulos, Costas Manolas, Yiannis Maniatis, Jose Holebas (all Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Giorgos Tzavellas (PAOK), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma), Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona), Loukas Vyntra and Nikos Karabelas (both Levante).

Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos), Costas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Panayiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Yiannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Costas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Panagiotis Kone (both Bologna).

Forwards: Giorgos Samaras (Celtic), Costas Mitroglou (Fulham), Fanis Gekas (Konyaspor), Dimitris Papadopoulos (Atromitos), Nikos Karelis (Panathinaikos), Stefanos Athanasiadis and Dimitris Salpingidis (both PAOK).

[Reuters]

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