The arrival of the Portuguese coach heralded a change in philosophy for the Ethniki, but will his young stars ever better the achievements of their predecessors?
No other football coach in Greece has ever been worshipped as much as Otto Rehhagel, and deservedly so, having led Greece - the biggest underdogs in the history of European championships - to an unprecedented victory at Euro 2004.
However, Greek fans had always had just one complaint: since their success in Portugal, the German showed faith only to his beloved "boys", the conquerors of the mountain top of European football.
The likes of Vasilis Tsiartas, Traianos Dellas, Michalis Kapsis or Angelos Basinas were constants in Greece's squad, even when they were preparing for their retirement and did not have a club. Angelos Charisteas, his country's top scorer at Euro 2004, was always a starter in the lineups of the Galanolefki, no matter what form he was in.
Rehhagel's successor and current incumbent Fernando Santos vowed to leave his own mark on the team, and from day one he tried to change this, injecting "new blood" into the team. Indeed, he went as far as to hand call-ups to players with only three or four good games in the Greek league, something unthinkable during the 73-year-old's reign.
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Santos didn't hesitate to do the same after Greece had booked their place in the finals of Euro 2012. In his final squad, he named two teenagers, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Kostas Fortounis. Both were used as substitutes in the opener against Poland, while in their next match with Czech Republic, they were given starting roles.
"My first experience at such a big tournament is great. All my teammates have been great with me. If I'm selected to play, I'll be ready to help my team," Fortounis said dutifully ahead of the match against Russia.
Other young internationals, like Sotiris Ninis and Kostas Mitroglou, were first introduced to men's squad during Rehhagel's days in charge, but only Santos gave them the chance to truly shine with the national team. "If we listen to our coach, we will win," said Mitroglou, adding: "I'm ready whenever he needs me to be."
The average age of the team makes them one of the most balanced outfits in the tournament (27.12), but in fact Santos has presided in one of the most radical shake-ups of Greece's national selection; Giorgos Karagounis, Kostas Katsouranis and Kostas Chalkias are the only remaining veterans from 2004.
Interestingly, utilising such 'rookies' against Russia can be of Greece's advantage. Dick Advocaat's side are the only team that managed to defeat Greece at Euro 2004 (2-1) and did the same four years later (1-0). Perhaps, the younger generation does not strike the same fear as their predecessors.
Judging from his "Greece can go all the way" comment prior to the start of the tournament, Papadopoulos might be even more optimistic. More importantly, he will need this optimism when he will attempt to stop Alan Dzagoev from adding to his tally in front of goal.
Most certainly, the two teenagers have the determination needed to look the Russians straight in the eye. "In the previous two games we weren't as focused as we should be," said Fortounis.
"But the game against Russia is a final for us. We are determined to fight for the win and will give our best to qualify."