Greece 2004: Where are the former Euro winners now?
When football’s minnows overcome the odds to win, it’s often an uplifting spectacle (unless you’re supporting the side they’ve just beaten) but it’s all the more spectacular when they do it over a series of many matches en route to picking up a trophy.
There is little doubt that Greece’s victory at UEFA Euro 2004 ranks as one of the biggest shocks in international tournament history. Sitting proudly alongside the triumph that Denmark toiled over in 1992 in terms of how surprising it was, the Greeks had to fend off more than their fair share of better teams and critics to get their hands on the trophy.
It has been 12 years since Otto Rehhagel masterminded an unlikely passage to the final at the European Championships, and although the football they played was very defensive and rarely pretty it’s only right to recall the feat they managed to achieve despite nobody giving them the slightest chance.
Read on to find out where the famous final-winning squad is now and what they are up to over a decade after their success which will never be erased from the history books, no matter how much their detractors might wish it.
*This list includes only notable players who featured in the Euro 2004 finals
Antonios Nikopolidis: An ever-present throughout their historic run to the final against the Portuguese, Antonios Nikopolidis started and finished every single match that Greece played in in their campaign. A terrific goalkeeper who stood tall against some of the best-attacking talents around, but arguably the silver-haired custodian’s greatest contributions arrived in the final as he denied Cristiano Ronaldo, Maniche and Luis Figo goal-scoring chances.
In total, he swept 25 pieces of silverware in his glittering career but his ‘04 heroics certainly stand out on the global stage. These days, the 44-year-old is the coach of his country’s U21 side after having wet his feet with Olympiakos a number of years ago following retirement.
Takis Fyssas: Heading into Euro 2004, Takis Fyssas was gearing up for his wedding to then fiance Christina but as the competition wound on and they were still involved, there were concerns in the marriage party that the defender wouldn’t have the time to properly prepare . It turned out to be worth it in the end, of course and his career since retiring has been relatively successful as he has enjoyed a number of roles behind the scenes. For six years, he was technical director of the Greek national side and was most recently director of football at Panathinaikos. The retired 42-year-old was linked with former club Hearts in 2016.
Giourkas Seitaridis: Their preferred right back played in every match and managed to avoid getting substituted which was quite an impressive achievement in itself. His performances earned him a move away to Porto after the finals drew to a close after he impressed with some stand-out defending. The way he shut down Thierry Henry in the quarter-final as they ground out a 1-0 win was particularly eye-catching. Not really involved in football these days, he was most recently in the news for his part in carrying the Olympic torch in the month of April for the countdown to Rio 2016.
Traianos Dellas: Management has been the field of choice for Traianos Dellas ever since exiting the playing side of the beautiful game and he’s picked up a few decent positions over the years such as at AEK Athens. As was last heard, Dellas was head of Atromitos in the Greek Superleague which has been his second post to date. Memorably, of course, Dellas was the first and only player to score a silver goal in international football, after converting a header against the Czech Republic in the semi-final and was a phenomenal star in their three-man rearguard.
Michalis Kapsis: The now 42-year-old called time on his professional career in 2012 after having turned out for the likes of Bordeaux, Olympiakos and Ethnikos Piraeus. Forming one-half of Greece’s formidable centre-back pairing, he drew rave reviews from pundits and analysts everywhere in the summer of 2004. He won titles in Greece and Cyprus, but it was his crucial role in ‘04 that will always be the highlight. The trail has gone cold as to his whereabouts in the world of football and Kapsis seems to have slipped away from the sport entirely.