Fernando Santos has unveiled a 29 player preliminary squad for the World Cup. There were no surprises and as expected 37-year-old Fulham midfielder and Euro 2004 veteran Giorgos Karagounis will lead Greece against the Ivory Coast, Colombia and Japan.
Karagounis is the most experienced player in the squad and has amassed 132 caps after debuting in 1999. He played mainly in a substitute capacity as Fulham were relegated this season.
All the players selected have at least one cap under Santos with most having played under Otto Rehhagel. Three players -- Karagounis, Kostas Katsouranis and Dimitris Papadopoulos -- took part in Greece's shock triumph a decade ago at Euro 2004. Half of those included ply their trade in Greece while the rest are spread around Italy, Spain, England, Germany and Turkey while Piraeus club Olympiacos have largest contingent with six players.
Santos has a particular dilemma in picking a starting goalkeeper. Orestis Karnezis, Alexandros Tzorvas, Michalis Sifakis, Panagiotis Glykos and Stefanos Kapino were all included, but so far only Tzorvas and Kapino have had first team involvement in their clubs this season. Kapino has little national team experience and Tzorvas suffered relegation from the Greek SuperLeague with Apollon Smyrni.
Provisional squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Panaglotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos), Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Michalis Sifakis (Atromitos), Alexandros Tzorvas (Apollon Smyrnis).
Defenders: Jose Holebas (Olympiacos), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiacos), Kostas Manolas (Olympiacos), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiacos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Dimitris Siovas (Olympiacos), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma), Giorgios Tzavellas (PAOK), Loukas Vyntra (Levante).
Midfielders: Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna), Ioannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Sotiris Ninis (PAOK), Andreas Samaris (Olympiacos), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor).