NEWS

Nikolaidis says Greece will try to beat Spain

Two days ahead of Greece’s crucial match against Spain in the Euro 2004 soccer championships, star striker Demis Nikolaidis pledged yesterday that the national team will play to win. «Spain not only has better players than us, they also are a better team and they are the favorites, for sure,» Nikolaidis, who plays for Spanish club Atletico de Madrid, said after a training session. «But this must be shown on the pitch… We will play to win.» After its surprise 2-1 victory over hosts Portugal on Saturday, Greece’s first-ever win in the finals of a major international soccer tournament, the squad has a decent chance of reaching the quarterfinals. In last year’s qualifying round, Greece beat Spain 1-0 away and ended first in their group, forcing the Spaniards to sweat through two extra games against Norway.