Orfanidis on Greece's opening win

The central figure in Greece's 2-0 win against Ukraine, scoring the first goal and creating the second, Petros Orfanidis looks back on the victory with UEFA.com

Greece's Petros Orfanidis talks to UEFA.com
Greece's Petros Orfanidis talks to UEFA.com ©Sportsfile

UEFA.com: Greece's win over Ukraine was a dream start for you...

Petros Orfanidis: We had to kick off strongly as the opening match sets the tone. We gave it all we had and won. We'll keep going with the same will and determination in order to achieve our objective: making it to the semi-finals.

UEFA.com: Ukraine were a tough nut to crack...

Orfanidis: They are a very strong team. We had faced them recently in friendlies so we were aware of the difficulties, but all's well that ends well. We got the result and look ahead.

UEFA.com: You changed tactics in the second half; what was the reason behind that?

Orfanidis: Having taken the lead in the first half, we needed our coach's help. He made the necessary adjustments to help us keep the lead and then seal victory.

UEFA.com: How do you feel having scored a goal and provided an assist?

Orfanidis: I'm very happy with the way things turned out and that I was able to help my team. It doesn't matter who scores or who sets up goals, it's all about the collective effort. All guys worked hard and contributed to this victory.

Petros Orfanidis gives Greece the lead against Ukraine
Petros Orfanidis gives Greece the lead against Ukraine©EPO

UEFA.com: Were you expecting a full house at Veria?

Orfanidis: Yes, I did. It's summer time, there are many people spending their vacation here and combining it with watching football, and the locals are very excited to be hosting such a prestigious tournament.

UEFA.com: The spectators were quite enthusiastic. Did that help you?

Orfanidis: It was a great atmosphere. They chanted, they boosted our morale and got behind the team – that's the most important of all.

Petros Orfanidis in Katerini
Petros Orfanidis in Katerini©Sportsfile

UEFA.com: As hosts, Greece didn't go through qualifying. Were you concerned that you might lack competitive rhythm?

Orfanidis: It's been almost two months since the regular season ended in Greece but that wasn't a concern, as in such tournaments it's all about the will and determination to do well. We set our mind to it and we were ready to compete.

UEFA.com: What are your thoughts about the next game against Austria?

Orfanidis: It's a final for us and for Austria. If we win, we qualify to the semi-finals. We'll be ready and up to the task. Having won our opening match, we have the opportunity to go for a second victory and have qualification in the bag before playing France.

UEFA.com: How are you finding the finals?

Orfanidis: This is a fantastic experience for me. It's a very important tournament and each day is exciting. I feel very honoured to be taking part.

Greece celebrate against Ukraine
Greece celebrate against Ukraine©EPO

UEFA.com: Does the financial situation of Greece and recent developments affect you?

Orfanidis: We speak to our relatives and learn about the situation, but we make an effort not to think about it right now. We're here on a mission. It is very important to do well in the tournament for ourselves, for our families and for all Greeks.

UEFA.com: What are your dreams and career aspirations?

Orfanidis: I want to improve with each passing year, reach a high level and establish myself in the senior team at Xanthi. It's the city I was born and raised in and it is very important for me to excel with their shirt on.

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