Gutor looks to Greek example for Belarus

Aleksandr Gutor drew inspiration from Greece's UEFA EURO 2004 triumph as he said "nothing was impossible" ahead of Belarus's semi-final against Spain on Wednesday.

Aleksandr Gutor halted the hosts - can he now stop Spain?
Aleksandr Gutor halted the hosts - can he now stop Spain? ©Getty Images

Belarus go into their semi-final with Spain as underdogs, but Aleksandr Gutor told that he and his team-mates would draw hope from Greece's shock UEFA EURO 2004 triumph ahead of Wednesday's encounter in Viborg.

Otto Rehhagel's squad sprung one of the biggest surprises in football when they bettered the continental elite to claim the Henri Delaunay trophy in Portugal. Having thwarted the ambitions of Iceland and hosts Denmark to reach the last four, Gutor feels Belarus can emulate the Greeks' feat and bring the ultra-talented Spanish to heel.

"We feel no pressure. Nobody believed in Greece in 2004 and they won the European championship in Portugal. There's nothing impossible in life," said the FC BATE Borisov goalkeeper. "Spain are favourites and everybody thinks they'll win the tournament. Maybe we just need to present them with a surprise."

With Spain ominously impressive in emerging as Group B winners, the task of Georgi Kondratyev's men at the Viborg Stadion looks monumental. Gutor, however, said that with an opportunity to reach Saturday's final in Aarhus still within their grasp, the Belarus squad are determined to seize it with both hands.

"Everyone is bursting to go into action since we have a good chance to reach the final. It's a massive opportunity," said the 22-year-old, who was one of his team's stand-out performers in the group stage. "Everyone understands that Spain are extremely strong opposition, but there are no unbeatable teams. We're thinking only about a positive outcome."

Belarus can draw comfort from a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Spain in late March, while they would also have the consolation of still being able to play for a place at the 2012 London Olympics should they lose. Gutor, however, said the squad's focus was solely on the here and now, and not a potential play-off in Aalborg on Saturday.

"We're not thinking about the match for third place and a spot at the Olympic Games. All of us are focused on reaching the final," he said. "All their players have very good technique, and link up very well with each other. They have wonderful interaction on the field – they're a classy side. Obviously we've seen their matches, but I don't want to reveal our secrets. Everyone will see everything for themselves."