World Cup: Fulham's Kostas Mitroglou included in final Greece squad
Fulham's record signing Kostas Mitroglou has been included in Greece's final 23-man squad for the World Cup.
Last Updated: 30/05/14 2:23pm
Coach Fernando Santos believes the striker will be fully fit in time for the tournament in Brazil, which starts next month, after a troubled time in west London with his new side, who were relegated from the Premier League.
Mitroglou joined Fulham for £12m in January after a prolific run of goal-scoring with Olympiakos but he has struggled with injury since and made only one start as Felix Magath's men failed to avoid the drop to the Championship.
But he returned to action off the bench in their final away game of the season against Stoke and that was enough to convince Santos he would be ready to feature in his squad.
"I wasn't 100 percent about some of the call-ups until a few weeks ago. Mitroglou was one of those cases," Santos said.
"We watched the last 30 minutes of his game, we paid a lot of attention and we judged him to be ready... we're looking at playing ability and physical condition: people who are safe choices."
Three forwards were dropped from Greece's preliminary squad - Dimitris Papadopoulos of Atromitos, Stefanos Athanasiadis of PAOK and Nikolaos Karelis of Panathinaikos.
Goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas (Apollon Smyrni), defenders Nikos Karebelas (Levante) and Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos) and winger Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern) were also omitted.
Defenders Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke) and Dimitris Siovas (Olympiakos) failed to make the original 30-man squad, due to persistent injury troubles.
"I was sorry not to include players that helped us in qualification, like (midfielder) Sotiris Ninis and Siovas," Santos added. "But the national team is above players and above the coach. We must use the safest choices."
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos).
Defenders: Vassilis Torosidis (Roma), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Costas Manolas (Olympiakos), Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona), Jose Holebas (Olympiakos), Giorgos Tzavellas (PAOK), Yiannis Maniatis (Olympiakos).
Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Yiannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna).
Forwards: Georgios Samaras (Celtic), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Theofanis Gekas (Konyaspor), Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK).