With the Euro 2020/21 Championships on our doorstep and the nation preparing to board the England hype train, let’s take a look back on the forgotten Greece XI who shocked a continent to win the Euros.
Greece were beyond being considered the dark horse of the competition, and if you enjoy fixed odds betting then you could have got the European winners at a whopping 150/1 before the tournament.
The Greeks were huge underdogs against Portugal in the final, who hosted the tournament, but Otto Rehhage’s outfit once against put in a herculean shift and triumphed 1-0 in Estadio de Luz. Where are the 11 mighty gladiators that lifted the fabled 2004 European Championship now?
At the ripe age of 33, Nikopolidis was hardly the seasoned recruit that his hair colour suggested when he was pencilled into the tournament as the number 1 goal stopper.
Straight after the keeper’s success in Portugal, he moved from Panathinaikos for Olympiacos, where he stayed until he retired. After hanging up his gloves, the Greek keeper became assistant manager at Olympiacos. He now is sharing his wisdom with the Olympiacos U19.
The right-back had many suitors after the successful Portuguese tournament, with Real Madrid reportedly interested, but Porto was the side that won the race.
After a year honing his craft in Portugal, Seitaridis spent two seasons at Dynamo Moscow and another three at Atletico Madrid before returning to Panathinaikos foe retirement in 2013, the defender now owns a restaurant.
The centre-back became the only player to score a silver goal in international football. Dellas went straight into management after retiring aged 36, but first plied his trade at Aris, Sheffield United, AEK Athens, Perugia, Roma, AEK Athens for the second time, Anorthosis and a final time at AEK Athens.
The Euro winner went on the manage AEK Athens for two years, Atromitos for a season and has returned again after retirement to manage Panetolikos.
After Kapsis’ career-defining Euro win, the centre back loaned his services to AEK Athens, Bordeaux, Olympiacos, APOEL, Levadiakos and Ethnikos Piraeus where he retired in 2012. According to a Greek reporter, he begain working as a fireman after his retirement.
The left-back lifted the trophy at the ground of his club side, Benfica. After his monumental Euro triumph, he plied his trade at Hearts where the Scots still fondly remember the Euro winner. He returned to Greece to finish his playing days with Panathinaikos.
After his retirement in 2004, he took up the role of technical director of the Greece national team before moving to a similar role at his old club Panathinaikos in 2014. The left-back started a career in politics shortly after leaving football and was nominated as a candidate for Greece’s New Democracy Party.
Greece’s valiant leader and Player of the Tournament went on to reach 120 caps before retiring at PAOK in 2007. The Greek captain traded his boots for a suit and tie when he moved into politics and has been a MEP since 2014.
Basinas, who was the man who assisted Greece’s winner in the final, played at Panathinaikos, Mallorca, AEK Athens, Portsmouth and AC Arles-Avignon during his 15-year playing career.
The former holding-midfielder was selected to lead the side after Theo Zagorakis retired and successfully achieved over 100 caps for Greece. Basinas took up the technical director role at the Greek national side before officially retiring in 2010.
Katsouranis was a veteran on the international stage, representing Greece at three European Championships and two World Cups, earning 116 caps during his 13-year international tenure. The midfielder went on to lend his services to AEK, Benfica and finally Panathinaikos in 2009.
After a brief spell with PAOK, he played in India and Australia before hanging up the boots for good in 2015. Since he left football, he has been appointed as technical director of Panachaiki and even became a UN Ambassador.
Giannakipoulos was one of Greece’s best-known Euro 2004 winners given he was playing for Premier League Bolton at the time. After a fruitful career, the Bolton-man hung up his boots for the Greek Professional Footballers’ Association presidency.
The then Werder-Bremen striker exposed Portugal’s weak underbelly after a thunderous header in Greece’s winner in the final. The match-winning Greek moved on for spells with Ajax, Feyenoord, FC Nurnberg, Bayer Leverkusen, Arles-Avignon, Schalke and Panetolikos prior to eventually retiring after a stint in Saudi Arabia.
The journeyman hung up his boots and had a brief spell as technical director of Aris before opening a café in Amsterdam.
The striker returned to Greece from Fiorentina in 2006, ending his career at PAOK. The centre forward took the technical director mantle up before becoming PAOK president. He spent a further year as technical director at Veria before working for the Greek Federation between 2016-2018.
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