Greek squad announced for Australian tour


Greece’s Kostas Mitroglou in action with Turkey’s Ahmet Yilmaz Calik during an international friendly soccer match. PHOTO: BURAK KARA/GETTY IMAGES.

Greek national team coach, Michael Skibbe has announced a 31-man squad.

The Greek national football team’s new German-born coach, Michael Skibbe, has announced a 31-man squad for the upcoming Dodoni series of matches against the Socceroos in Australia.

The squad will be further trimmed just before the team leaves for Australia but at this stage it includes a strong selection of players from both domestic and foreign leagues.

Although the largest contingent of players comes from the Greek Super League, they still make up less than half the squad. The next largest contingent comes from the Italian League and includes the likes of Roma’s Vasilis Torosridis. The next biggest contingent plays in the German Bundesliga and Belgian league, while others such as forward Kostas Mitroglou and midfielder Andreas Samaras are teammates at Benfica.

Greece missed qualification for the Euros and is determined to make up for this by qualifying for the next World Cup. The two match series give new coach Skibbe an opportunity to prepare his squad for the start of its World Cup qualifying campaign in September, where Greece’s group opponents include Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovnia, Estonia and Cyprus. Skibbe recognises the Belgians are early group favourites, but his aim is for Greece to finish no lower than second spot in order to book a ticket to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“I believe in good discipline and strong tactical awareness on the pitch,” Skibbe said.

“That was the foundation for Greece’s strongest years in the 2000s and their Euro win, and that’s what we want to return to. The players should wear their country’s colours with dignity and dedication.”

Whomever they face, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou can expect to come up against a well-organised Greek side in the two matches scheduled. He will announce the Socceroos squad for the two-match series against Greece next week.

Greek squad:
Orestis Karnezis (Udinese), Stefanos Kapino (Olympiakos)

Defenders: Loukas Vyntra (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Stelios Kitsiou (PAOK), Vangelis Moras (Verona), Michaalis Boukouvalas (Iraklis), Marios Economou (Bologna), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Dimitris Siovas (Olympiakos), Kostas Stafylidis (FC Augsburg), Giorgos Tzavellas (PAOK), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma), Jose Holebas (Watford)

Midfielders: Andreas Samaris (Benfica), Alexandros Tziolis (PAOK), Panagiotis Kone (Fiorentina), Giannis Maniatis (Standard Liege), Petros Mantalos (AEK), Dimitris Pelkas (PAOK), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Genoa), Giannis Fetfatzidis (Al-Ahli), Kostas Fortounis (Olympiakos)

Forwards: Kostas Mitroglou (Benfica), Christos Aravidis (AEK), Apostolos Vellios (Iraklis), Giannis Gianniotas (Apoel), Dimitris Diamantakos (Karlsruher SC), Nikos Karelis (Racing Genk), Anastasios Bakasetas (Panionios), Thanassis Papazoglou (KV Kortrigk), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Sampdoria)

Source: Neos Kosmos


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