Kostas Katsouranis, the 33-year old captain of the Greece national team, has reminded his teammates that seizing every single moment is important if they are to beat Germany in a one-off situation this evening.
The Greeks triumphed against all odds to win the European Championship in 2004 and they accomplished that massive feat by staying focused on one win at a time.
Eight years removed from that memorable summer, they now face joint favorites Germans in a difficult quarterfinal fixture that no one believes they can win.
While Katsouranis is aware of his opponents’ strength, he insists that anything can happen in a contest that will only be decided by 90 minutes of football.
“It will take a minor miracle. But think about it: we are not playing best of ten. We will face Germany once, in one match, and we will fight to the end,” said the man who is only current Greece international to have tasted glory back in 2004.
Germany boss Joachim Low can’t agree more with Katsouranis, admitting that for all the talent that his team possesses, killer instinct is the most important quality they need to demonstrate at this stage of the competition.
“Playing Greece will be akin to colliding with a rock. We are the favorites, that’s logical and we can live with that. [But] we also know that knockout games have their own character,” Low explained.
“Once the match starts, being expected to triumph counts for nothing. Greece are not the sort of team that gets ripped apart; we saw that against Russia when they upset the odds [winning 1-0]. You can never count them out,” the manager concluded.