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Angelos Basinas would reject a national team return if invited

Portsmouth midfielder and Euro 2004 winner Angelos Basinas says he does not know why he has been left off the national soccer team for over a year now and suggests that, at this point, it would not be right for him to return. In an interview with a Greek radio station yesterday, two days after Portsmouth, with Basinas on the bench, shocked Tottenham to make into the FA Cup Final in England, the former Panathinaikos, AEK and Mallorca defensive midfielder also said that Greek soccer lost out on the chance to improve after the Euro 2004 triumph. Asked why he is no longer on the national team, he said: «That is a question you had better ask the manager himself. At one point after Euro 2008, I had considered ending my international career, and had stated so, in order to make way for some of the younger players and for the national team to be renewed. «I took part in some discussions then and I realized that they did not want me to make that move. From then on, what has happened has been entirely up to the manager. I haven’t done anything nor annoyed anyone. Those who have made this decision are the ones who are competent to answer, I cannot,» he told the Athina 98.4 radio station. When asked whether he would return to the national team if invited by coach Otto Rehhagel, Basinas said: «After a year’s absence from the national team, I do not think I would be able to help at this point. After all, certain things have changed, some decisions have been made and maybe those who have made them can achieve something better than what they have achieved with us. As my understanding of the national team is at this moment, I do not think I can be there,» the 34-year-old player stressed. He also feels that soccer authorities and clubs have done nothing to capitalize on Greece’s success in the European Championship in 2004: «Nothing was utilized at any level. The federation and the clubs could have gained so much and changed many things. Unfortunately, nothing has been done, because I think even they did not believe in it. «What has once again made the difference is the national team, with its success in going a step further and qualifying for major tournaments. Otherwise, I have not seen any progress for the clubs, particularly in Europe,» Basinas said. He added that he has no remorse about rejecting a proposal from Olympiakos in 2008 and did not rule out a return to Panathinaikos at the end of his career, although he said, «I have missed nothing in the Greek league.»