Snap shot: Underdogs Greece have their day

Our series focusing on big moments in EURO history and the people involved reaches 2004, when rank outsiders Greece pulled off one of the biggest shocks in tournament history.

©AFP

Greece went into UEFA EURO 2004 as rank outsiders. Yet in a splendid month-long festival of football under the Portuguese sun, Otto Rehhagel's pragmatic side melded into a team far stronger than the sum of their parts. They confounded one opponent after another, ending the tournament as they had begun it – with victory over the hosts.

Highlights of the 2004 final
Highlights of the 2004 final

1 Traianos Dellas
Centre-back Dellas was key to Greece conceding only four goals in Portugal. Dubbed the 'Colossus of Rhodes' by coach Rehhagel, he turned in a series of memorable displays and headed the silver goal – his sole strike in 53 internationals – in the semi-final against the Czech Republic. He was a Roma player then but is best associated with three spells at AEK Athens, winning the Greek Cup twice. He retired in 2012 and guided AEK from the third tier to the first before stepping down in October. Now coach of Atromitos.

2 Theodoros Zagorakis
Zagorakis did not score in Portugal – his first goal for his country eventually arrived with cap No101 seven months later – yet he was Greece's most effective player in the final. Zagorakis could never have imagined during a journeyman career featuring stints in England and Italy that he would attain such lofty heights. The defensive midfielder retired in 2007 with 120 caps as well as a domestic cup medal apiece with AEK and Leicester City. A former PAOK president, Zagorakis became a member of the European Parliament in 2014.

Nikopolidis looks back on 2004
Nikopolidis looks back on 2004

3 Otto Rehhagel
Rehhagel is the only non-native national coach to win the UEFA European Championship. The former Werder Bremen boss's tactical brilliance turned a team of so-called no-hopers into continental masters. 'King Otto' took Greece to UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 World Cup before stepping down six weeks short of his 72nd birthday. His nine years at the Greece helm overshadowed achievements in his native Germany – he is the only man with over 1,000 Bundesliga games under his belt as player and coach.

4 Michalis Kapsis
Football was in Kapsis's blood – father Anthimos was a Greek international and member of the Panathinaikos side that lost the 1971 European Cup final to Ajax. Michalis earned his first cap in June 2003, showing his man-marking expertise by keeping Spain's Raúl González quiet in a surprise 1-0 victory. He did a similar job on Jan Koller in the final tournament. He landed the double with Olympiacos in 2006 and the Cypriot title at APOEL. The centre-back retired in 2012.

Angelos Basinas
Angelos Basinas©Getty Images

5 Angelos Basinas
One of just four players to have amassed 100-plus caps for Greece, Basinas collected his first in August 1999, the same day as his close friend and keeper Antonis Nikopolidis. He was an important player at UEFA EURO 2004 – utilised as a holding midfielder, he slotted a penalty in the opening 2-1 triumph over Portugal and then delivered the corner from which Angelos Charisteas headed the winner in the final. Basinas lifted two Greek championships with Panathinaikos and is now studying for his coaching diploma.

6 Takis Fyssas
Fyssas signed for Benfica in December 2003 and scored in the 2004 Portuguese Cup final, denying José Mourinho's Porto a treble. A month later, he was starting left-back all the way to his 'home' final at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon. He had a stay with Hearts, claiming the Scottish Cup, and returned to Panathinaikos before retiring in summer 2008. He has since worked in the back-room staff of the Greece national team and, from 2014, as technical director at Panathinaikos.

Vryzas and Papadopoulos
Vryzas and Papadopoulos©Getty Images

7 Zisis Vryzas
The tall forward's goal in the group-stage defeat by Russia helped Greece lever Spain out of the runners-up spot on goals scored. A fans' favourite at PAOK, Vryzas played abroad with Perugia, Fiorentina, Celta Vigo and Torino. He repaired to Greece in 2006, becoming PAOK technical director after hanging up his boots in 2008. Briefly Fernando Santos's assistant with the national side, Vryzas returned to PAOK as club president. Now technical director at Veria.

8 Dimitris Papadopoulos
Papadopoulos was – at 22 – the youngest member of the 2004 squad. He came to Portugal fresh from capturing a domestic double with Panathinaikos and also represented Greece at the Olympics later that summer. The Uzbekistan-born forward drifted away from international football but was recalled in August 2013 after receiving Greece's player of the year award at Panthrakikos. He took the gong again the next season and, at 34, continues to play top-flight football at Atromitos.

Stelios Giannakopoulos playing for Olympiacos
Stelios Giannakopoulos playing for Olympiacos©Getty Images

9 Stelios Giannakopoulos
Giorgos Karagounis's ban meant attacking midfielder Giannakopoulos started the Lisbon final. Almost 13 months earlier he had netted in a 1-0 qualifying victory over Spain in Zaragoza, a result that kick-started Greece's run to glory. The former Bolton, Hull and Larissa man enjoyed his best years with Olympiacos, winning the league in each of his seven seasons. Giannakopoulos retired in 2010 and became president of Greek Professional Footballers' Association. He also made a brief foray into coaching yet is now both a television pundit and, curiously, a fireman.

10 Angelos Charisteas
The most memorable moment of an international career spanning 88 games and 25 goals came with the winner in the 2004 final, Charisteas having scored in a group fixture against Spain and versus France in the quarters. The striker, a Bundesliga champion with Bremen in 2003/04, lived a nomadic existence post-Portugal, with sojourns in the Netherlands, Greece, France and Saudi Arabia. Charisteas had a brief tenure as technical director of Aris, his first club, before coming out of retirement to play in Australia.

Giourkas Seitaridis playing for Greece
Giourkas Seitaridis playing for Greece©Getty Images

11 Giourkas Seitaridis
Seitaridis was an accomplished presence at right-back during Greece's march to the title. He contributed to a parsimonious defence while also providing an attacking outlet. He marked Thierry Henry and Milan Baroš out of matches and the European crown sealed a wonderful campaign in which he won the domestic double with Panathinaikos. After the tournament he headed to Porto and also had stints at Dinamo Moskva and Atlético Madrid before rejoining Panathinaikos, where he hung up his boots in 2013.

Also in the frame
12 Giannis Goumas
13 Kostas Chalkias
14 Giorgos Georgiadis
15 Pantelis Kafes
16 Vassilis Lakis
17 Fanis Katergiannakis
18 Stelios Venetidis

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