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Santos says Greek soccer lacks identity

Greece manager Fernando Santos claimed the Greek game has plenty of talent and quality but lacks a football identity.

In an interview to a Greek sports newspaper the Portuguese coach suggested that Greeks have to work hard and follow the rules in order to develop their own brand of football.

“Based on the culture of Greek people, Greek football must at last acquire its own identity. The talent is there. What we need to learn,» he said as if he were a Greek himself, «is how to create this model of football.”

“At the moment, for most of each game in Greece there is no football played but… footie! Talent may be the beauty of football, but it has to come within certain rules. It is like saying I have 500 paintings but I have no walls at home to put them up,» added Santos.

Asked why talented players do not develop in this country, Santos answered that «the talent may be there but sometimes the right path is missing, the path that would allow each player’s talent to develop. We can make this happen in the national team.”

“In Greek football there is both quality and skill. Just like in Portugal, in Greece I have realised that when we want something very much, when a Greek sets his mind on something he eventually achieves it. There is just all this postponing, discussing ‘should we do this or that’,» said the Greece coach.

He added that Greek players are happy to do things once they have been told the reason. «It is not enough telling them ‘do this because I say so’,» he stressed.