Kostas Katsouranis, Greece's stand-in captain for Friday's quarter-final against Germany, admits his side "need a minor miracle" but is adamant they will "fight to the end".
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"It won't be our last match at EURO 2012. We players don't think so; that's why we are here." Dimitris Salpingidis spoke in no uncertain terms at Wednesday's press conference in Legionowo when asked about Greece's quarter-final prospects against Germany on Friday.
"The more you eat, the hungrier you get," he continued. "Things are getting tougher round by round and I hope that we can go even further and make Greeks happy. It will not be easy, that's for sure."
What recipe will Greece use in order to make it as hard as possible for Germany? Kostas Katsouranis, who will wear the captain's armband in the absence of the suspended Giorgos Karagounis, singled out one thing in particular: "Self-sacrifice – it's our main characteristic. We will give it all on the field. It will take a minor miracle on Friday. Germany are the favourites, we are the underdogs, but think about it: we will not play against the Germans ten times to see who wins the most. It's one match and we will fight to the end."
Salpingidis was asked about the absence of Karagounis and was quick to emphasise that "he is a very important player for us. He is our captain. We will all fight for him as well."
Both players pointed out that their victory against Russia on matchday three has added to belief in the camp. "It was a very important win because it led to our qualification and also boosted our confidence," said Salpingidis. "When a player comes onto the pitch, he can't know what is going to happen. However, he always thinks about winning. We believed it from the start." Katsouranis added: "We are confident now; we believe in our chances and we will be as focused against Germany as we were against Russia."
In the end, there was once again a question about Giannis Maniatis’ wedding, scheduled for 1 July, the day of the UEFA EURO 2012 final in Kyiv. Katsouranis said: "It's been almost 18 months since Giannis scheduled his wedding. Back then, he didn't know if Greece would be in the finals, nor even if he would be a part of the squad. If you ask me, I don't think he will be there for the wedding ... "