One youngster makes seniors

Coach Otto Rehhagel has named a 24-man squad for Greece’s next friendly game against Hungary in Budapest this Saturday, three weeks before Greece’s opening game at Euro 2008 against Sweden. There were no surprises. Of the young players selected for Monday’s friendly against Cyprus, which Greece won 2-0, only AEK central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos made the squad for Saturday’s game in Budapest. Barring injuries, few changes are expected to be made for Greece’s squad at the Euro finals. However, one cut will need to be made to meet the 23-player limit. Sotiris Ninis, who on Monday became the youngest Greece international ever to score at the age of 18 years and one month, was left out of Rehhagel’s squad for Saturday’s friendly against Hungary. Rehhagel is obviously considering Ninis for the squad that will contest the World Cup qualifying group from September. The youngster, who made his senior-level international debut on Monday, opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he latched on to a through ball from Dimitris Salpiggidis. Ninis played confidently for 45 minutes before being substituted at halftime. Costas Katsouranis made it 2-0 in the 59th minute from the penalty spot.