Greece manager Otto Rehhagel has made a surprise call-up ahead of his side’s World Cup Qualifiers against Luxembourg and Latvia, choosing uncapped 20-year-old AEK midfielder Vassilios Pliatsikas as a replacement for injured striker Ioannis Amanatidis.
The youngster was handed a starting place by AEK manager Giorgios Donis in Sunday’s derby clash against Panathinaikos and produced a combative performance as his side fought their way to a 2-1 victory.
Speaking to the official site of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO), Pliatsikas spoke of the personal significance of his call-up: “It is a massive honour to be included in the senior national-team for the upcoming qualifiers. I know that there is a superb climate within the team and that they function impeccably.
“I would like to thank Otto Rehhagel, who called me up to the squad for the first World Cup Qualifiers. I still have a strong motive to work harder and justify the manager’s selection.”