Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Santos seeks World Cup farewell gift for Greeks

Greece will create a little bit of history in Brazil in June and reach the World Cup knockout stages for the first time coach Fernando Santos has confidently predicted.

The 59-year-old is stepping down after the finals but he is so confident his solid but no frills side will get through Group C - against Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan - that he says his contract will have to be extended as the knockout phase takes place after his present one finishes on June 30.

Santos, who guided Greece to the 2012 European Championships quarterfinals, is supremely confident in his players.

"They will give their all in the World Cup so that our parting will be the best possible. That's my intention as well,» he told UEFA.com in March.

"My only aim is to see Greece qualify for the World Cup knockout phase and I will do everything in my power to achieve that and make Greek fans happy."

However, immediately after he made the prediction Greece lost 2-0 to fellow World Cup qualifiers South Korea in a friendly.

It was a rare reverse for Greece under Santos, whose overall record reads better than Otto Rehhagel, the veteran German who coached it to the 2004 European Championship title, where it beat host Portugal - with the talents of Luis Figo and a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo - in the final.

Aside from guiding Greece to a national record 17 straight games without a loss, beginning with his first game in charge in August 2010 and ended by Romania in November 2011, he has seen his team win 24 and lose just five times in 42 matches.

However, while those statistics are impressive Santos faces problems as his goalshy strike force was the reason Greece failed to top its qualifying group, finishing level on points with Bosnia but with a far inferior goal difference.

The Greeks scored just 12 times in their 10 games, the Bosnians 30. Encouragingly for Santos, the defense, superbly marshalled by German-born Jose Holebas, conceded only four goals.

His options up front are not plentiful with the veteran Giorgos Samaras, who has found the net just eight times in 71 matches, and 26-year-old Costas Mitroglou's 12 million pound move to Fulham from Olympiakos in January turned into an unmitigated disaster as he was rarely used and the club was relegated from the Premier League which has left him short of confidence.

Creativity too is a major headache for Santos, although that has never been the Greeks' strength, and it says a lot that their playmaker remains midfielder Giorgos Karagounis, the record caps holder with 132 and a member of the Euro 2004 winning squad, although he missed the final because he was suspended.

While he has only accrued 10 goals in his international career, his goals are usually important ones, scoring their first goal in the Euro 2004 finals and the goal that beat Russia in the Euro 2012 group game. He was subsequently booked meaning he would miss the quarterfinal and the 37-year-old's emotional reaction to that was one of the iconic images of the finals.

Karagounis admits that with Colombia likely to be without leading striker Radamel Falcao Greek fans will be expecting the team to progress, and as he told Sky Sports he and his team-mates have rarely failed their supporters over the past decade.

"Yes, the expectations were increased and, considering that, we have been able to play at that for the past decade."

[AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 13, 2014 (20:26)  
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Athens, Nicosia satisfied by EU leaders´ stance toward Ankara
A reference in Friday’s European Council conclusions calling on Turkey to respect Cyprus’s sovereign rights left Athens and Nicosia content with the outcome of the European Union leaders’ su...
Suspended policeman chief suspect in cousin’s murder
A 27-year-old police officer who has been suspended from duty since 2013 for extortion, is being treated as the chief suspect in a murder committed in a suburb of Piraeus on Thursday. Police...
Inside News
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
Greece’s trade deficit shrank 29.5 percent year-on-year in August as a result of the considerable 16.3 percent decline in imports, Hellenic Statistical Authority figures revealed on Friday. ...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Tension for tension’s sake?
It is evident that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan feeds off tension. He would barely have achieved as much as he has – and prevailed – if he had not been so keen to confront a series...
EDITORIAL
Testing ground
The Regional Authority of Attica is a good testing ground for politicians who appear to thrive on accusations to prove whether they can actually solve major problems of a practical nature. T...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
2. TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
3. Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
4. SMEs unable to claim subsidies
5. Taxes kept growing in second quarter
6. Thessaloniki Port expects 2014 to be record year
more news
Today
This Week
1. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
2. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
3. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
4. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
5. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
6. Cyprus GDP upgrade seen as boosting bailout exit plans
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Samaras’s crumbling Greek exit lacks backing from economists
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.