The European champion 8 years ago promises to become one of the dark horses of Euro 2012. Falling into Group A, the group is considered to be the lightest, including hosts Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, and the team.

Greece deserves respect not only because of their past achievements but because of their extremely high performance in the qualifying round.

The Greek squad has many changes compared to 8 years ago.

In terms of force, Greece right now does not have the same quality players as when they were crowned in 2004. Most of the players are playing in the domestic championship.

Although there are no outstanding stars, Greece shows a fearsome way of playing that has become their identity: Always focusing on playing in-depth defense and making the most of the opponent’s loopholes to counter-attack and score goals.

Currently sitting at the helm of Greece is Portuguese military leader Fernando Santos.

Greece - a lesson that never gets old

Sokratis (white shirt) played very well in the qualifying round.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos was the most impressive player in the Greek squad in the qualifying round.

Giorgos Karagounis is 35 years old this year and Euro 2012 will be his last tournament with the Greek team.

Participated in Euro 3 times in 1980, 2004 and 2008.

The highest achievement is winning Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Currently ranked 14th on the FIFA rankings.

The head coach is Mr. Fernando Santos, from Portugal.

Captain is midfielder Giorgos Karagounis. Roster of 25 players preparing for Euro 2012 (2 people will be eliminated to get 23 official players)

Goalkeepers: Michalis Sifakis (Aris Thessaloniki), Kostas Chalkias (PAOK), Alexandros Tzorvas (Palermo).

Defenders: Vassilis Torossidis (Olympiacos), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiacos), José Holebas (Olympiacos), Giorgos Tzavellas (AS Monaco), Stelios Malezas (PAOK).

Midfielders: Kostas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos FC), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiacos), Giorgos Fotakis (PAOK), Grigoris Makos (AEK Athens), Giannis Fetfatzidis (Olympiacos), Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos), Alexandros Tziolis (

Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic), Fanis Gekas (Samsunspor), Nikos Liberopoulos (AEK Athens), Kostas Mitroglou (Atromitos). Greece’s Euro 2012 group stage match schedule (local time)

Warsaw, 6:00 p.m. June 8, 2012: Greece – Poland

Wroclaw, 6:00 p.m. June 12, 2012: Greece – Czech Republic

Warsaw, 8:45 p.m. June 16, 2012: Greece – Russia

Ngoc Hai