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Greece: EURO 2008

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  June 18 was Greece’s last day at the UEFA EURO 2008. The Greek squad failed to qualify to the next round since it lost all three games against the Swedes (June 10), the Russians (June 14), and the Spaniards. Greek fans supported the nationals to the very end, despite the team’s fruitless endeavour to defend the title it won in the 2004 contest, one of the greatest landmarks in team sports’ history. 

Greek Football Team: Defending the Crown

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)       Four years ago – on July 4, 2004 – Greece beat host Portugal in the Euro 2004 final in Lisbon, to become European Champions. Across Greece and the entire Greek Diaspora from Melbourne to Montreal, there were extraordinary scenes of celebration. Otto Rehhagel, the German coach since 2001, and his team probably created the biggest upset in world football as 80 -1 outsiders showing what discipline, simplicity, organisation, stamina and self-belief can do against all odds. During Rehhagel’s reign, who will remain with the Greek side until 2010 for the World Cup, the national team moved up from 61st to 8th in the FIFA World Rankings. Whether Greece can repeat their success in Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria remains to be seen. A realistic target is to qualify for the second round. Group D, in which Greece participates, together with Sweden, Russia and Spain, is thought to be one of the toughest. With feet firmly on the ground, the Greek team goes into the tournament in good shape. The Greeks open against the Swedes tonight, and then face Russia and Spain, all in Salzburg. The Greek squad is expected to draw strong support from home and its large expatriate communities in neighbouring Germany. Since the first match is considered to be of crucial importance, millions of Greeks worldwide are expected to be glued to their TV sets to watch the game. UEFA: Euro 2008-Austria-Switzerland; Hellenic Football Federation: Euro 2008