July 11, 2010
It's always sad when the World Cup comes to a conclusion. Obviously the Final is an unbelievable event watched by a large percentage of the people that inhabit this planet. That said, it will be four long years of waiting for the next World Cup, so as excited I am about today's final, getting geared up and watching the final is always a little bittersweet.
This tournament has gotten better over the knockout rounds and there have been some real moments that will live in the memory. Particularly as a football fan I will never forget the Uruguay-Ghana nor the Spain-Paraguay quarterfinals. I saw things in those matches that I don't believe I have ever seen!
On the whole however it has to be said that this was a disappointing tournament where the quality of play and the matches themselves failed to really capture the imagination. Kudos though to South Africa, a country that put on a fantastic event and should be commended for their superb work.
For Greek fans it was perhaps the same, a bit bittersweet...
June 23, 2010
In the end there was no shortage of the things we desired most. The passion was there, the fight was clearly evident, the pride of representing country was present and the chasing of a dream was given a real chance thanks to the commitment and desire shown. We can have no complaints when it comes to the intangibles offered by the Greek national team in Tuesdayâ€™s 2-0 defeat to Argentina, a loss which brought an end to our World Cup journey.
Perhaps the only thing lacking was a certain degree of risk and endeavor, but when you see your players and know they gave it their all, criticism is futile, and even the reality of defeat and elimination gives way to pride and hope for the future.
June 22, 2010
Here we are, hours before the match against Argentina. Itâ€™s no surprise that just about anywhere you go and read about this match, a demolition job is expected. And to be fair, it could happen. This is an Argentina side with a real swagger, one whose talent could see them lift the World Cup if they avoid the self-destruction of tournamentâ€™s past.
June 21, 2010
Less than two goals a game, some awful goalkeeping, a strange ball, loud vuvuzelas, and many of the favorites struggling. That is perhaps how the first 10 days of the World Cup can be characterized. It has been a fascinating tournament to watch, however not really for the reasons that I was thinking it would be. I believed that the football on display would have been right up there with the best Cups ever, though sadly I have been disappointed. The first round of matches was difficult watching, though the second matches in each group have been better.
June 17, 2010
Yes! Yes! This is what we have waited our whole lives for! Greeceâ€™s 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Thursday in Bloemfontain gave Greek supporters around the world something that looked very unlikely after the first match against South Korea: reason to hope.
The win is even more amazing when you consider the poor psychological state the team were in after a forgettable loss to South Korea on Saturday. On top of that misery came Nigeriaâ€™s goal in the opening stages of todayâ€™s match and it really appeared it would be more of the same, another tournament, another World Cup that would end with a whimper. However, this time it was all different.
Today's performance gave all Greeks a reason to be proud as it was a display full of passion and pride, of guts and heart.
June 14, 2010
So Iâ€™ve had a few days to get over the loss to South Korea, I suppose I havenâ€™t actually gotten over it, but just as someone who gets shot and survives I am here ready to write again. Iâ€™ll confess I made my way to the laptop quite a few times in the last couple days, however I couldnâ€™t bear to write anything. Anger, disappointment, a sense of defeat, and no inspiration conspired against me to produce nothing but a blank screen.
June 12, 2010
The 2-0 loss to South Korea in our 2010 World Cup opener today awoke the bad memories of the 1994 tournament. Greece looked awful for most of the match against a decent South Korean side.
I say decent because it was evident from my vantage point that while South Korea do have quality, this is for all intents and purposes a fairly limited side whose defensive frailties will face severe examination when it comes up against better sides than Greece.
Iâ€™m not here to talk about South Korea though and in all fairness congrats to them on a comfortable win. I am here to talk about Greece and once again we start the tournament off on the wrong foot and if we are to point fingers then they must be directed at Otto Rehhagel.
After months of analyzing, agonizing, waiting and waiting, the wait is officially over. Finally, in a just a few hours, Greece return to the World Cup Finals for the first time in 16 years. This match against South Korea has been one of the most highly anticipated of my life and I believe the same can be said for many, many Greek supporters.
June 7, 2010
Hello once again everyone. We are nearly there, only a few days left until it all starts. The Greek side has touched down in South Africa and has already held a couple of training sessions. The atmosphere within the team and surrounding it appears to be really fantastic and this is surely good news in the lead-up to the tournament.
June 2, 2010
Can you really derive much hope having lost 2-0 and playing well for only 15 minutes? Your foolish writer is inclined to believe yes if only for having suffered a lifelong case of over-optimism. So, we went down, rather meekly it must be said, to Paraguay 2-0 in the final friendly before the World Cup begins for us on June 12th.
The Paraguayan side operated at a higher level than Otto Rehhagelâ€™s side for the majority of the match and succeeded in many areas that Greece didnâ€™t including combination play, movement off the ball, energy, and finishing. All credit to Paraguay as they treated this match as a real test for their Cup preparations. Roque Santa Cruz in particular looked to be in great form, which can only be good news for them. What now about Greeceâ€™s performance?