Midfielder Angelos Basinas told euro2008.com that three points against Spain will help eliminated Greece "feel good about ourselves and please the fans".
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Midfielder Angelos Basinas told euro2008.com that three points against Spain would help eliminated Greece "feel good about ourselves and please the fans".
The RCD Mallorca man hoped to meet club colleagues Daniel Güiza and Fernando Navarro of Spain in more meaningful circumstances than what is effectively a dead rubber in Salzburg. "Our aim is to perform well and try to get three points," said the 32-year-old. "That will make us feel good about ourselves and please the fans who came all the way to Austria to support us." Wednesday's meeting has long been a subject for discussion among the Mallorca players. "We hoped both teams would make it to the next round," said Basinas. "It has been going well for Spain, but unfortunately not for us. Anyway, I wish Spain well – they deserve it."
With Greece's summer holidays starting on Thursday, Basinas said he will be leaving Austria with a heavy heart after the UEFA EURO 2004™ winners' all-too-brief title defence. "When the results are negative and the team get eliminated before the third group match, the memories are going to be sad," he said. "We were not fit enough and didn't have any luck. We are sad about our performance in the first match against Sweden and the way we lost [2-0]. Against Russia we were satisfied with our response on the pitch, even though we couldn't get a result. We couldn't play like we had during the qualifiers – that was when we showed our real potential."
The close of UEFA EURO 2008™ also marks the end of Antonis Nikopolidis and Paraskevas Antzas's international careers, yet for any attendant nostalgia, Basinas accepts the focus is now the 2010 FIFA World Cup and developing fresh talent. "We don't have much time," he said. "We must work hard, make the necessary changes to the squad and get ready for September. Individually, I am sure it will be a good team because we have high-quality players, but they have to blend together because individual quality cannot cover for lack of team spirit."
So while Greece's No6 is looking forward to watching the UEFA EURO 2008™ final on 29 June, it will not be without a pang of regret. "It will be painful to follow the final on television, knowing that last time we were on the pitch and we got our hands on the trophy," said Basinas, who feels "Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands" are the most likely heirs to the Greek throne.