This miniEURO was a complete success for everybody, even for the teams who didn’t manage to qualify to the quarter finals. One of those was the Greek national team and even if it was easy to understand that all players were extremely disappointed for the fact that they could have played much better, it was obvious too that the experience of participating in the miniEURO 2012 was precious.
The Greek delegation was one of these delegations who came to Moldova accompanied by many dreams. However, when they first played with Bulgaria, they started seeing that they were not so well prepared for this challenge. One of the journalists that followed the delegation and spent much of his time with the players (Mr. Alkis Kakoliris working for NovaSPORT-FM and Sportday newspaper in Greece), gave a well-aimed titled to one of his articles: “Their mind wanted, their bodies refused…”. This is exactly what happened to this team. Everybody wanted to succeed, everybody was so enthusiastic but they were not prepared to have a specific plan inside the field: Their tactical game was so confusing. Andreas Drenova, the big star of the team and one of the best players of the miniEURO focused on the fact that there was not “racing discipline” in the team. He also noted that the teams that reached to the final, Montenegro and Romania were 2 teams that had worked so much on discipline, patience and smart defensive tactics.
Actually, it was not the only reason why the Greek team didn’t manage to win the 2nd match vs Kazakhstan which was the most important of the group stage. Alexis Karatis, one of the first scorers of the team and one of the top scorers of N’JOY UNI-League in Greece, was seriously injured during the first minutes of the 1st game. Karatis is always the player who scores at least 2 or 3 goals even when a match is difficult… In addition to that, the captain of the team Alexandros Berberis one of the 2 most important defenders of the national team was injured during the preparation and didn’t manage to play neither one minute. All these facts, in combination with the small roster of the team made the Greek dreams disappear.
Returning to the first paragraph, the most important feeling of the Greek participation was the joy of being one of the 16 top teams in Europe. The experience of playing in front of so many spectators, against other countries coming from different parts of Europe and the experience of enjoying the Final with many thousands of people was an experience that all these players are going to think and talk about for many years.