A big thank you to the boys

…I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Otto Rehhagel, Captain Theodoris Zagorakis and all the boys on the Greek national soccer team – a big thank you for the great joy that they brought us, for the fact that their slow but sure course toward victory filled the last month with smiles, instead of the stress that usually dominates the streets of Athens. Another «thank you,» or rather a hearty «bravo,» should go to the hundreds of thousands of people who congregated at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens and thronged surrounding roads on Monday to offer a heroes’ welcome to the returning team… And the boys deserved it after all; they stunned all of us! Remember how many times we anticipated a new match by saying: «Whatever happens today, it doesn’t really matter as we’ve already come so far already.» At the very beginning, instead of making a «decent appearance,» we beat the championship hosts Portugal. Then came France, the Czech Republic, and then suddenly we’d reached the finals. Again we repeated the mantra that it «didn’t really matter» but this time we added that, having come so far, we should win this final, crucial game and write our name in the history books. And then that came too – the most unexpected win in the history of football… For all this, a warm «thank you,» from the heart, from us all.