favorites now tempered by economic studies fellow playingInterviews with Giorgos Karagounis
used to stay in football. They can play the free-kick past Fabien Barthez loop components as Panathinaikos Manchester United in the Champions League in the new millennium or the head slipped by David Seaman for Arsenal, one year after the event did not disappoint quarterfinals. But inevitably attracted to this glorious summer dizzying 2004 when Greece, against all odds, won in Portugal.
those days of the bravest issues in which they live. Talk away track to economic recession and financial crisis, their compatriots who are struggling to make ends meet or even feed their families, and the burning of national pride and stimulated teammates Karagounis in Euro 2012 with Section shit party and evoke a night in Gdansk in June when politics and sports mix too easily. "The defeat of Russia in the quarter-final against Germany was a great success," he said. "As for what we faced was almost equal to what we did in Portugal to win competition. Was against us all. Had a duty to put a smile on the faces of the people back home. "
Karagounis is a cult figure in Fulham, a veteran who received the letter of safe release last summer and turned 36 last month, but the streets and the industry experience weight and appreciated by those at the end of Hammersmith. Back in Athens is emblematic. It is a midfielder who, for 14 years in the national team, won a record 124 caps and still talisman for the team currently second World Cup Group G. He was a key player in 2004 and captain in 2012, but lost the culmination of two European campaigns - the first light, the second challenge - through suspension. He appeared in Italy Inter, Benfica of Portugal and now in the Premier League, established and respected reputation throughout the continent.
others can bury their heads in the sand on the events in a distant country, happy with life in the flat Thames Chelsea Juan Mata and Oscar as neighbors and ignoring the political Karagounis readily admits that is impenetrable. But do not live in a football bubble when are idolized by those who suffer in the debt ridden countries as pants through its sixth year of recession, one third of the population lives below the poverty line. "I'm happier than most of Greece, but when you see your friends with the smile wiped from his face, did not have enough to support their families to buy food ... You can not live your life abroad to know what they are fighting for the return home. there all the time. scold you. There is no escape.
"We all feel at the European Championship last summer, there was a desperation that we do, we must give people something positive to cling to .. wanted to put a smile on their faces, so that the victory over Russia, the joy of winning the final group game to qualify, has almost doubled. trying to do something for Greece and make people happy at home. took us, especially when felt everything was against us there. have played half of the first match [against co-hosts Poland] with 10 men. I had booked to Russia when it was a clear penalty against me, which cost me a place in the quarterfinals. and each game was a road game, because the Greeks fans could not afford to travel. Yet, despite all this, we entered the quarter-finals. 'Have made people happy. It meant something for "us.
Karagounis was the goal that defeated the Russians and forced to leave the group, although the player himself had to be replaced by his exhausted mind a reservation by Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson after to protest against the award of the penalty. Prudence, his second of the competition would be to deny participation in the quarterfinals in motion. Germany is the largest creditor of Greece and effectively the country guilty of the severity of choking austerity measures every day after the bailout of the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was in the crowd that day as Karagounis.
"People have talked about our organization on the ground but outside there was simply no" Karagounis said. "We were probably the only national team in the tournament, no facilities at our disposal. We were in a hotel about 40 outside Porto no gym, so if someone wanted to go to work, they had to find a place.