Greece - a guide to the World Cup hopefuls
Greece are among the outsiders to go all the way in Brazil and they will need to improve on a terrible World Cup record if they are to pull off another shock and replicate their famous Euro 2004 success
Last Updated: 09/06/14 11:14am
Greece take part in their third World Cup finals in Brazil and in their previous two appearances in 1994 and 2010 they have only recorded one win. They reached the finals via the play-offs and Brazil is set to be the swansong for the coach and a number of their veteran players.
Greece's success is built on their defence as they conceded just four goals in ten group games during qualifying, and two more in the play-off win over Romania, and they will be a hard nut to crack in Brazil.
Reaching the knockout stages would represent a triumph for Greece and, with a number of wily old campaigners in their squad, they could provide a few shocks in Group C as they showed in qualifying that they know how to grind out a result.
Greece's Group C fixtures:
1. Saturday June 14: Colombia v Greece - Belo Horizonte (1700)
2. Thursday June 19: Japan v Greece - Natal (2300)
3. Tuesday June 24: Greece v Ivory Coast - Fortaleza (2100
Coach: Fernando Santos
Portuguese coach Santos will bow out as Greece boss after this summer's finals and he has played a key role in their resurgence. The 59-year-old boasts the highest winning percentage of any Greece coach with 24 wins and just four defeats in 41 matches. Santos has guided Greece to two consecutive major tournaments for the first time in their history and he took them to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
Star man: Konstantinos Mitroglou
The striker was the star behind Greece's successful qualification for Brazil as he scored five goals, but things have changed for him in the last six months. The 26-year-old joined Fulham from Olympiakos in January in a £11million deal, but he played only 120 minutes of football as he struggled for form and fitness. Mitroglou will be aiming to put his Fulham disappointment behind him and show in Brazil why, before his move to England, he was regarded as one of the best forwards in Europe.
Tournament best: 1994 and 2010 group stage
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).
British based players: Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham) Giorgos Samaras (Celtic
Sky Bet odds: 250/1
Greece, who qualified via the play-offs, make their third appearance in the World Cup finals but are rated underdogs with the bookies to progress beyond the group stage. The Greeks produced a major upset when they won the European Championship in 2004 and can be backed at odds of 10/1 to go as far as the last eight.