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HOW THEY QUALIFIED

  GROUP F
GP GD PTS
1 Greece (Q)       10 7 3 0 9 24
2 Croatia (Q) 10 7 1 2 11 22
3 Israel 10 5 1 4 2 16
4 Latvia 10 3 2 5 -3 11
5 Georgia 10 2 4 4 -2 10
6 Malta           10 0 1 9 -17 1


RESULTS TOP SCORERS
Sep 3, 2010: Greece 1-1 Georgia
Sep 7, 2010: Croatia 0-0 Greece
Oct 8, 2010: Greece 1-0 Latvia
Oct 12, 2010: Greece 2-1 Israel
Mar 26, 2011: Malta 0-1 Greece
Jun 4, 2011: Greece 3-1 Malta
Sep 2, 2011: Israel 0-1 Greece
Sep 6, 2011: Latvia 1-1 Greece
Oct 7, 2011: Greece 2-0 Croatia
Oct 11, 2011: Georgia 1-2 Greece
2 - Giannis Fetfatzidis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Vasilis Torosidis
1 - Angelos Charisteas, Georgios Fotakis, Theofanis Gekas,
Giorgos Karagounis, Sotiris Ninis, Dimitrios Salpingidis,
Georgios Samaras, Nikos Spyropoulos

In arguably the easiest qualifying group for Euro 2012, Greece recovered from a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against Georgia in their opening game to remain unbeaten throughout the campaign and pip Croatia to top spot.

With first place still up for grabs with two games remaining, a 2-0 win over Croatia, which was marred by crowd trouble, made Fernando Santos’ men favourites to reach Euro 2012 as group winners, and a late goal from veteran Angelos Charisteas in their final qualifier against Georgia secured their place at the tournament.

PAST RECORD IN THE EUROS 

1960
Did not qualify 1988
Did not qualify
1964
Did not qualify 1992
Did not qualify
1968
Did not qualify
1996
Did not qualify
1972
Did not qualify 2000
Did not qualify
1976
Did not qualify 2004
Winners
1980
Group stage 2008
Group stage
1984
Did not qualify 2012
Qualified as group winners

Having qualified for the European Championships just once prior to Euro 2004, Greece, who had already caused a major upset against France in the quarter-final, stunned the world of football by beating host nation Portugal 1-0 in the final in Lisbon to pull off one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition.

The success of 2004 remains the only time Greece have managed to progress past the group stage, though, with 2008’s campaign in Austria and Switzerland particularly forgettable. Otto Rehhagel’s men scored just one goal and failed to even pick up a point, losing to Sweden, Russia and Spain.

THE MANAGER | FERNANDO SANTOS


Despite being handed the tough task of replacing Euro 2004-winning boss Rehhagel after the German’s resignation at the end of the 2010 World Cup, Santos has enjoyed an impressive start to life in international football, remaining unbeaten in his first 17 matches in charge before a 3-1 friendly defeat to Romania.

Unlike predecessor Rehhagel, the experienced Portuguese, who dramatically transformed the fortunes of Greek club PAOK before taking the national team job, has shown he is not afraid to call upon younger players, even handing a debut to 17-year-old Panathinaikos goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino.

THE CAPTAIN | GIORGOS KARAGOUNIS


The veteran midfielder - who has fond memories of the European Championships, scoring the opening goal of the tournament against Portugal in 2004 - will be one of the first names on the team sheet for Greece at Euro 2012, having featured in every one of his side’s matches in qualifying.

While regulars of the national team down the years have been unable to hold down their places since Rehhagel’s departure, such as Angelos Charisteas who did not make the Euro 2012 squad, Greece’s second-highest capped player remains a key figure under Santos, who he played for previously at Panathinaikos and Benfica.

THE STAR PLAYER | VASILIS TOROSIDIS


Torosidis has attracted the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs since establishing himself as a regular for both Olympiakos and Greece, with Roma, Liverpool and Bayern Munich all credited with an interest over the last few years.

Although a switch abroad is yet to come to fruition, the Olympiakos defender, who won the 2010 Greek Football Player of the Year award, has already made history for the national team, scoring the winning goal in his side’s 2-1 victory over Nigeria at the World Cup in South Africa - Greece’s first ever victory in the tournament.

THE EMERGING TALENT | SOTIRIS NINIS


The Panathinaikos playmaker has emerged as the stand-out youngster in Greece since the 2010 World Cup, where he may have played a bigger role - having only made two substitute appearances at the tournament - had it not been for the defensive style employed by Rehhagel.

Ninis, who is set to move to Serie A side Parma in the summer, is expected to be Greece’s main attacking threat from midfield at Euro 2012 after proving his fitness following a tear to his cruciate ligament back in September against Israel - a match in which he scored the only goal of the game, virtually assuring his country of a place in Poland and Ukraine at the time.


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Most Discussed
Top Scorers
Player Goals Penalties
Dimitris Salpingidis Dimitris Salpingidis
Striker
PAOK
6 1
Konstantinos Mitroglou Konstantinos Mitroglou
Striker
Fulham
5 0
Theofanis Gekas Theofanis Gekas
Striker
Konyaspor
3 0
Giorgos Karagounis Giorgos Karagounis
Midfielder
Fulham
2 0
Georgios Samaras Georgios Samaras
Striker
Celtic
1 0