Giorgos Karagounis has warned other countries to write off Greece at their peril as they prepare their assault on the FIFA World Cup as they face Colombia in Belo Horizonte today.
Ten years on from their unexpected triumph at the 2004 European Championship, Greece head to the World Cup as one of the lesser-fancied teams, despite their FIFA ranking of 12th.
Fernando Santos’ men have been drawn in Group C alongside Japan, Ivory Coast and Colombia, with the latter representing Greece’s first opposition.“I think whoever doesn’t respect us will pay for it. It’s best not to cross us.
“We know who we are and what we can do. If we stay together as a team, we can achieve big things.”
Coach Santos is approaching four years in charge of the national team after taking over from Otto Rehhagel – the tactician behind Greece’s Euro 2004 success – in July 2010 and Karagounis is confident the Portuguese can guide the team out of the group.
Even without the injured Radamel Falcao, the cafeteros are the group’s best team. James Rodríguez and Teófilo Gutiérrez will still be dangerous going forward, while Fredy Guarin will provide quality in the middle. Defense is a question mark, but this group may prove forgiving