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The Panathinaikos midfielder insists there is no room for error in Friday's match against Poland and that every Group A game will be a cup final

GREECE
GROUP A
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
P
PTS
 GREECE 10 24
 CROATIA 10 22
 ISRAEL 10 16
 LATVIA 10 11
 GEORGIA 10 10
 MALTA 10 1

Greece veteran Giorgos Karagounis has warned his team-mates to not make any mistakes in Friday's Euro 2012 clash against Poland, and that the 2004 champions will treat each game as a cup final.

The Panathinaikos midfielder was part of the side that stunned Europe eight years ago after beating host nation Portugal 1-0 in the final to clinch the trophy against all odds.

And, although many have tipped the Greeks for an early exit from Group A, Karagounis understands the importance of avoiding defeat in the Polish capital.

"In such a tournament every game is a final, let alone when we speak for the opening match of the group and the whole tournament," the 35-year-old told reporters at a press conference.

"It's a proper final. Since there are so few games that we will play, no mistakes are allowed."

Karagounis scored the first goal of Euro 2004 with a 25-yard thunderbolt to help his side on the way to a 2-1 success over Portugal and the 35-year-old is hoping history will repeat itself.

"I'm wishing for the game to end the same way it ended eight years ago, when we were victorious in the opening match," he said.

"We came here to enjoy our participation in the tournament and give joy to our fellow Greeks back in our country.

"For me, a good opening match is one you win. We know the capabilities of this team, I hope that we will demonstrate our potentials tomorrow on the pitch."

The Greeks will be led into Poland and Ukraine by former Porto coach Fernando Santos, who was named as Rehhagel's successor in 2010.

However, the Portuguese coach is cautious about comparing the current squad to that of 2004 and insists he wants to do Greece proud in his dream job.

"Mr. Rehhagel produced one of the biggest triumphs for Greek football and all Greeks are thankful for this," he stated.

"However, every coach has different ideas and philosophy. You should respect that. Comparisons do no good.

"We want to give as much happiness to Greek people as possible. We have proved that will fight with passion and determination to achieve that," he added.

"From the first day I came to Greece to take over a club I had said that one of my dreams is someday to coach the national team. And now, I have made it."

Greece and Poland kick off at 18:00CET on Friday June 8. Fernando Santos' men will also have to contend with Czech Republic and Russia in the group stage.

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