2010 FIFA World Cup: Greece Preview (Goaltenders)
If there was one thing that was sure in 2004 when Greece made their remarkable run into hoisting the European Cup and being crowned champions, it was that they were solid at goal. Their George Clooney look alike goaltender Antonios Nikopolidis was on his "A-Game" and had a little bit of Lady Luck on his side shutting out the likes of France, Czech Republic and Portugal.
Fast forward six years later when the Greeks take the pitch in South Africa, and you'll see that this is the position that scares Greek fans the most. They are bringing three goalies with their 23-Man Roster. Together, they have a mere total of 37 international caps under their belts. Twenty-Eight of those come from an aged veteran that will likely be watching from the bench. Even so, the starting spot is up for grabs come the 12th of June when Greece faces off with South Korea.
The three that will be fighting for the starting spot are...
Kostas Chalkias: PAOK FC, Greece. At 36 years old, Chalkias is the oldest member of team. He also leads all current Greek Goaltenders with 27 caps. A member of both the 2004 and 2008 Euro Teams, he has seen both the good and bad times. Although he had an impressive year with his Greek Super League team PAOK FC, Greece should be looking to fill in the gap with one of their younger guns.
Michalis Sifakis: Aris FC, Greece. The youngest of the goaltending crew at 25, Sifakis is seen as the long shot. His two career caps have come aginst weaker opponents Luxembourg and most recently Korea DPR. Hs only saving grace is that he played in 36 League and Cup games and helped Aris FC finish fifth and earn a spot in UEFA play.
Alexandros Tzorvas: Panathinaikos, Greece. Tzorvas was in goal both home and away when Greece took out Ukraine and danced into the 2010 World Cup. His performances in the two games went flawless as he shutout Ukraine on both occasions. This might be the reason why "King Otto" might elect to start Tzorvas in goal. Although the 27 year old has only appeared in 7 international derbies, he led his club Panathinaikos to a Super League Championship.
While the start against South Korea looks like it can go any way, Otto Rehhegal will have to think hard about which of these three he will have representing Greece in goal. It is important he has the right Goalie protecting the back line as Greece is known to play defensive football.
The skinny goes as follows. Chalkias might be old and rusty and Sifakis might be inexperienced, however, as Tzorvas seems to be the favorite, three poor performances in friendlies against Senegal, North Korea and Paraguay make every Greece fan wonder? But if I was a betting man, my money would be on Tzorvas taking the pitch for their first match in Port Elizabeth against South Korea.
Coming up next: Defenders
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