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Rehhagel realistic after Greece KO

"Back in 2004 a miracle happened and that only happens once every 30 years," said Otto Rehhagel after Greece were eliminated by an impressive Russia.

Otto Rehhagel cannot hide his disappointment
Otto Rehhagel cannot hide his disappointment ©Getty Images

Otto Rehhagel, Greece coach
It was a very intense match. Our team played better today than against Sweden. Unfortunately it's not new that we struggle to score goals and that's why we wanted to start with a tight defence too so we could go the distance and try to score. We're not the type of team that can score three in a game. What I did like was the passion of my team and the fact that they fought hard in spite of the strength of the Russians. I myself played against Russian teams many times and I know that they are all sprinters and outstanding players. We obviously wanted to do better but we were also in the same group as Spain and Sweden and I knew we would not be able to just waltz through this.

The most important thing is to have seen the dedication from the players – they fought until the last moment. I told the guys they had to give their all and they did that but we lost. I can't criticise anyone, we lost to a very good team with great forwards. Anyone else who has to face Russia will have a rude awakening. Back in 2004 a miracle happened and that only happens once every 30 years or so. If it happened all the time we wouldn't call it a miracle would we? Now we have to focus on the match against Spain, it's our duty and our obligation to play as well as we can.

Guus Hiddink, Russia coach
I am very proud of them. We had some good, tense sessions to see how the players would react [after the 4-1 loss to Spain]. I'm happy with the reaction because this result is a consequence of good football but defensively everyone did their job as well. There were some mistakes that could have caused some problems but maybe I'm being a bit too critical. It's a normal law in the game that when you miss chances things might end up going wrong for you. We should have killed the game with our speedy attacks and at international level when you create five or six chances you have to take them.

We are outsiders in the group because we don't have as much experience as the other teams but outsiders can also do a job. We have problems with [Yuri] Zhirkov and [Diniyar] Bilyaletdinov and I don't know if they will be resolved in the next few days, so in relation to [Andrei] Arshavin coming back, it's always great to have good players in the squad. We can be better, we still have to learn that we must fight and demand things from each other. It's a huge experience for the players. Russian football is developing and it's important that the team plays well.