Papastathopoulos sees Portugal friendly as key test

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos says Saturday’s friendly with Portugal is a good test ahead of the World Cup, which begins next month.

“We are still in training and it is too early to talk about the tournament, which begins in two weeks,» the 26-year-old Borussia Dortmund player said before Thursday’s training session.

“In the first friendly against Portugal we will face a very good team and on its home pitch. We will be able to see what work has been done and to see if we should improve some things by doing something different.”

Papastathopoulos said it is important for the 2004 European champion to get off to a good start in Brazil.

“In the World Cup, the first match against Colombia will be very important, as if we win we know that four points can be enough to qualify for the next stage. This will be a key to our progress in the tournament.”

But he acknowledged that Greece’s group, which also includes Japan and the Ivory Coast, is tough.

“Everyone has the same chance to qualify but we need to get one or three points against Colombia so we do not have our backs to the wall.» Papastathopoulos said.

Following Saturday’s match in Lisbon, Greece heads to the United States for two friendlies against Nigeria (June 3) and Bolivia (June 6) before setting up base camp in Brazil at Aracaju.


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