Greece were one of the lesser lights of European international football until they burst spectacularly into life under German coach Otto Rehhagel at UEFA EURO 2004.
Best result: winners 2004
Coach: Fernando Santos
Leading scorers: all-time – Nikos Anastopoulos (29); current – Fanis Gekas (24)
Most appearances: all-time – Giorgos Karagounis (131); current – Giorgos Karagounis (131)
Association formed: 1926
Nickname: Galanolefki (Sky blue and whites)
Where they play: Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, Piraeus
Greece were one of the lesser lights of European international football until they burst spectacularly into life under German coach Otto Rehhagel at UEFA EURO 2004, defying all odds to win the tournament in Portugal with a 1-0 victory over the hosts in the Lisbon final. Prior to that the country had appeared in just two major tournaments, the 1980 UEFA European Championship and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and failed to win a game in either. However, since becoming champions of Europe they have improved their standing considerably, qualifying for each of the last four major tournaments and reaching the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2012.
Overall: P118 W56 D23 L39 F166 A135
Final tournament: P16 W5 D3 L8 F14 A20
Qualifying: P102 W51 D20 L31 F152 A115
Greece waited 24 years to follow up their first finals appearance – where they collected one point from their three games – but it proved sensationally worthwhile as Rehhagel's men confounded expectations to lift the trophy in Portugal in 2004. The German coach masterminded a highly effective game plan, his side catching the hosts cold in the opening game with a 2-1 victory.
France and the Czech Republic both succumbed 1-0 in the knockout rounds, before a second defeat of Portugal provided a fairy-tale ending to one of football's true surprise stories. As holders they lost all three of their group games in Austria and Switzerland in 2008 and were eliminated by Germany at the quarter-final stage of UEFA EURO 2012, but nothing will take the shine off their momentous achievement of 2004.
Memorable EURO matches
04/07/2004: Portugal 0-1 Greece, UEFA EURO 2004 final
Angelos Charisteas' second-half header completed one of the biggest shocks at a major finals.
25/06/2004: France 0-1 Greece, UEFA EURO 2004 quarter-finals
Theodoros Zagorakis and Charisteas combined to end the holders' aspirations.
07/06/2003: Spain 0-1 Greece, UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying
Stelios Giannakopoulos' strike and a dogged defence served notice of Greece's potential.
Did you know?
Under Rehhagel, Greece recorded their longest winning streak (eight victories, between October 2007 and May 2008), while their longest undefeated streak came under Fernando Santos (17 matches, from August 2010 to November 2011).
*Last updated on 07/01/14