Ten years on from their highly unexpected Euro 2004 victory, and Greece are still branded with the mark of rank outsider; and for good reason. In what will be only their third appearance at a World Cup, the Greeks have never managed to negotiate their way out of the Group Stage, and have registered just one win in the history of the tournament. There will not be many that believe Fernando Santos’ side have it in them to better that record in South America.
Manager: Fernando Santos
Captain: Giorgos Karagounis
World Cup Winners: N/A
World Cup Runners up: N/A
Best finish: Group Stage (1994, 2010)
Greece 2014 World Cup Preview:
The good news is that a negotiating their way out of a group consisting of Colombia, Japan and the Ivory Coast is not impossible. It is arguably one of the most unpredictable groups, and that will suit the Greeks. Having thrived as the underdogs all those years ago in Portugal, the makeup of Group C could give them the incentive and belief that they need to defy the odds once more.
Having struggled in the shadow of Bosnia in the qualifiers, the Greeks are clearly lacking in firepower, winning by one goal in many of their later World Cup qualifying matches. The form of star striker Kostas Mitroglou will be key in Brazil, but his horror spell at Fulham post-January will be of real concern to the Greeks. They are reliant on Celtic mainstay Georgios Samaras, and attacking midfielder Panagiotis Kone could have a big say on whether Santos’ side progress.
While they are not looking great, Greece have it in them to make it through the group, but they will need some of that famous luck that saw them beat the odds in 2004.
Greece 2014 World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos)
Defenders: Vassilis Torosidis (Roma), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos), Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona), José Holebas (Olympiakos), Georgios Tzavellas (PAOK), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos)
Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Giannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna)
Forwards: Georgios Samaras (Celtic), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Fanis Gekas (Konyaspor), Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK)
Key player(s): Panagiotis Kone, Georgios Samaras
Greece 2014 World Cup Stats:
For more World Cup previews, stats and news, see our World Cup 2014 Guide.