|Greek and German teams focused on the Euro Cup match not the politics|
Will Greece give their all like they did with Russia and beat the Germans at Friday's highly anticipated Euro Cup match? Take our poll below at end of article!
Greece prepares to face Germany in the quarterfinals of the Euro Cup 2012 on Friday, June 22 and many Greek fans and news media are chanting or printing many political slogans about German chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Bring us (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel,” said Goal News after Greece shocked Russia 1-0 on Saturday to advance to the next round of the tournament.
“You will never get Greece out of the Euro, Europe once again delirious about bankrupted Greece,” the paper said.
Here's one we found that's funny. Too bad Giorgos Karagounis is out of the game and won't be playing due to a controversial second yellow card against Russia.
“You cannot compare football and politics, it’s as simple as that. It’s a game,” striker Georgios Samaras said Tuesday. “We’ll play. We enjoy it because we love it, nothing else.
“We’ve reached our target to make the quarterfinals. And from now on, we don’t care who we play. We just want to enjoy it. If we get through, that would be a dream.”
“We’re not playing for ourselves. We play for the country, for 11 million people, who are waiting for a smile,” Samaras said. “They went out on the streets to celebrate when we beat Russia. And we’re really, really happy about that.”
Greece struggled in the beginning of their first two matches, the team shocked the soccer world and beat the heavily favoured Russians 1-0 last Saturday to finish second in Group A and setup a match against the Germans.
Luckily for Greece coach Fernando Santos, three members of the current team currently play in Germany, three others used to, and another two grew up in the country. Besides that, Greece reached its ultimate footballing achievement — victory at Euro 2004 — while being coached by a German, Otto Rehhagel.
“Of course that’s an advantage because we know who our opponents are,” said Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a 20-year-old Schalke defender who has emerged as a breakout player for the Greeks.
“Obviously this is special for me, because I play in Germany. I know the players we will be facing and have played against them many times,” Papadopoulos added. “We are studying them. But I won’t tell you tactics we’ll follow, whether it’ll be offensive or defensive. You’ll see on the field.”
WHAT GERMANY'S COACH SAID ABOUT GREECE:
Germany coach Joachim Loew refused to be drawn into a political discussion of Friday’s match, which pitches the euro zone’s problem child against its rich northern paymaster and has turned minds to a deepening economic crisis.
"The game against Greece will be very different. They are dangerous," said the 52-year-old coach.
The three-time European champions, eyeing their first title since 1996, beat Portugal 1-0 and Netherlands 2-1 before their final victory over Denmark but Loew said the Greeks would be a tougher nut to crack and his team would need to up the ante.
Despite German hopes of a comfortable win, Greece has conceded more than one goal only twice in 24 games.
"No one was counting on the Greeks. They are masters of efficiency," said Loew.
"The Greeks have so far had three scoring chances in the tournament and scored three goals. It will be a good challenge for us to try and solve," he said.
Do you think Greece will give their all and beat Germany? Take our poll below.