Celtic striker Giorgos Samaras insists Greece is a better team than Croatia and will eventually be able to finish top of its qualifying group for the European Championship finals in 2012.
“We have a better squad than Croatia. They may be better as individuals but we have a better team. We are slowly growing as a team and I believe we are on the right path,» Samaras told a Greek federation website on February 2.
“Our target is to get a maximum six points from the games against Malta and to put pressure on Croatia,» the Celtic forward added.
Croatia leads the group but will have to visit Greece later this year.
The 25-year-old striker also voiced optimism about the national team’s future: «The generation of players born in 1984 and 1985 is now starting to express its character and personality, both on the pitch and in the locker room: Avraam [Papadopoulos], [Vassilis] Torosidis, [Michalis] Sifakis, [Alexandros] Tzorvas… We are a generation that is close together as we have been playing together since the Under-21 side.»
Samaras’s confident mood came on the day that FIFA announced Greece has returned to the world’s top 10. After Egypt dropped out of the top 20, Greece took the 10th spot for the month of January even though it played no games last month.
The last time Greece found itself in the 10th spot was in March 2010. Croatia is at No 9.
National coach Fernando Santos is already making plans for the friendly against Canada on February 9 at Larissa.