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Greece's 2004 hero Nikopolidis answers tweets

Published: Thursday 21 June 2012, 13.28CET
Greece's UEFA EURO 2004-winning goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis told UEFA.com that an "organised defence" and the ability to "counterattack quickly" will be crucial against Germany.
Greece's 2004 hero Nikopolidis answers tweets
Antonis Nikopolidis helped Greece to glory in 2004 ©Getty Images
 
Published: Thursday 21 June 2012, 13.28CET

Greece's 2004 hero Nikopolidis answers tweets

Greece's UEFA EURO 2004-winning goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis told UEFA.com that an "organised defence" and the ability to "counterattack quickly" will be crucial against Germany.

Former Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis marshalled a resilient defence to glory at UEFA EURO 2004 and he sees marked similarities with the nation's current crop of players. The former Olympiacos FC and Panathinaikos FC man answered your tweets and told UEFA.com that Greece's tight defence and ability to counterattack quickly will be crucial if they are to topple one of the pre-tournament favourites, Germany, in Friday's quarter-final in Gdansk.

@realnadom4lyfe: How do you feel ahead of the quarter-final against Germany?

Antonis Nikopolidis: I believe that since we are not the favourites to win, the German team will be under more pressure than us. We got this far by doing our best as a team, and I believe that from now on we have nothing to lose.

@OfficialLaxmi: What advantages do Greece have over Germany?

Nikopolidis: We are playing against a favourite this time and they may win the tournament because they are a very good team. Our basic advantages are our good defence and that we can counterattack quickly. We will focus on that and hope that everything will be OK.

@christopherreno: What special preparations should be made for the Germany game?

Nikopolidis: Actually, I don't think the team should do anything special. Apart from scouting and studying the opponent, looking at their weaknesses and their strong points, there is not much else to do. It is such an important game that the players will be so focused, and it's pointless for the coach to try and boost their morale.

@FutboldelEgeo: The goalkeeping position was the principal doubt before EURO 2012. What do you think? Is the goal in good hands?

Nikopolidis: I believe that Michalis [Sifakis] – even if injury kept him out for a long time –showed in the match against Russia that he is in good shape. He seems confident, and we all hope that he will be as good as he was in the last match.

@ChrisKardy: What do Greece need to do differently with Giorgios Karagounis unavailable?

Nikopolidis: Giorgos [Karagounis] is a special player, and maybe due to his passion and his experience – not only as a player but also as a person – he is difficult to replace. He has a versatile role in the team. I am certain, though, that whoever plays in his position will do their best to help the team.

@lddavidm: Germany are very good at defending. Do you think counterattacking will win the game?

Nikopolidis: If we can keep Germany outside our penalty area for a long time, then at the end of the match we will have more chances to score and win.

@SaifulHamdi: What do you think about Greece's performance at this tournament? Can they repeat the success of 2004?

Nikopolidis: I believe that, apart from some halves when we did not play well, the team as a whole and individual players have done well, especially against Poland and Russia. It was all about the tactics, the system and of course the character of our team, as we have seen in the last few years. I believe that if we were playing against another team and not Germany, then maybe we could repeat the success of 2004.

@dpanagis1: Do you believe that the current squad we have is better or worse than the squad in 2004?

Nikopoloidis: I see more similarities than differences. By that, I mean that the way we approach matches, the tactics and a lot of elements that characterise the Greek team and Greek football in general are almost the same. They have a well-organised defence and counterattack quickly. Those were the things that helped us back in 2004, and I think that the advantages of the team of 2012 are more or less the same.

Last updated: 21/06/12 14.49CET

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