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Greece

Greece

Team Widget

Team Profile: Greece

GettyImagesGreece suffered a torrid finals debut at the hands of Argentina in 1994

Appearances at finals:
1994 - First round

Overall record at finals: Played 3, Won 0, Drawn 0, Lost 3.

Best performance: Reaching the group stage in 1994.

Most appearances at finals: Ioannis Kalitzakis (1994), Savvas Kofidis (1994), Nikos Nioplias (1994), Nikos Machlas (1994) - 3.

Most goals at finals: Greece have yet to score a World Cup goal.

World Cup high: Beating Ukraine away in their play-off second leg to seal their place at the 2010 World Cup.

World Cup low: Failing to score a single goal during their solitary appearance at the finals in 1994.

World Cup legend: None of the 1994 squad did anything to earn legendary status, but Theofanis Gekas contributed half their goals in qualification for South Africa and topped the UEFA scoring charts.

The story so far: Greece qualified for the 1994 World Cup by topping their qualification group ahead of Russia, and much was expected at their first ever finals. However, their debut ended in unmitigated disaster after they lost 4-0 to Argentina, 4-0 to Bulgaria and 2-0 to Nigeria, exiting without a point or even a goal scored.

Coach Alketas Panagoulias opted to stick with the same players who booked Greece's place at the World Cup rather than search out new talent, and he gave every member of the squad, including the three goalkeepers, a game at the tournament.

Qualification: Despite the exploits of star striker Theofanis Gekas, the top scorer in UEFA qualifying with 10 goals, Greece made hard work of a modest World Cup 2010 qualification group that included Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia and Luxembourg.

After losing home and away to group winners Switzerland, the Greeks were consigned to a play-off with Group Six runners-up Ukraine. Manager Otto Rehhagel stuck to the negative tactics that won Euro 2004 and, following a 0-0 draw in Athens, it looked like the Greeks were going out. But in Donetsk, Dimitrios Salpigidis scored a goal on the counter-attack and that was enough to send Greece to their second World Cup finals.

Qualifying record: P10, W6, D2, L2, F20, A10, Pts20.

Most appearances: Theofanis Gekas and Sotirios Kyrgiakos (11).

Top goalscorer: Theofanis Gekas (10).