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Where are Greece’s EURO 2004 winners now?

EURO 2024 has begun! The favourites have started strongly. Two decades ago, Greece astonished everyone under the guidance of German coach Otto Rehhagel, becoming European champions. In the final of Euro 2004, they defeated Portugal, who had the young Cristiano Ronaldo playing, with a 1-0 scoreline thanks to Angelos Charisteas’ sole goal. Greece, like Denmark in 1992, is remembered as one of the most surprising winners of a European Championship. The fairy tale continues, but where are Greece’s EURO 2004 winners now?

Angelos Charisteas

Antonios Nikopolidis

One of the most famous players of the successful Greece team in 2004 was goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis. The keeper became a cult hero because he already had grey hair in his twenties. His nickname is therefore Clooney, after George Clooney. Nikopolidis played as a goalkeeper for 15 years at Panathinaikos, after which he transferred to Olympiakos following the European Championship. There, he remained the first-choice goalkeeper for seven years, retiring from playing in 2011 and continuing as an assistant at the club. Eventually, he also became the head coach of Greece under 21.

Giourkas Seitaridis

Seitaridis was an accomplished presence at right-back during Greece’s march to glory. It was undoubtedly a successful season, as he also won the double with Panathinaikos. After the tournament he joined Porto, and had stints at Dinamo Moscow and Atlético Madrid before returning to Panathinaikos, where he stayed until summer 2013. He is now the owner of a restaurant in the Greek capital and can often be spotted driving his motorcycle around the country. During the 2024 European Championships, he is also working as a pundit on Greek TV.

Traianos Dellas

Dellas was a key figure in the team as a player for AS Roma and instrumental in Greece conceding only four goals throughout their campaign. Coined the ‘Colossus of Rhodes’ by coach Otto Rehhagel, he delivered a series of memorable performances and scored the silver goal – his only goal in 53 international appearances – in the semi-final against the Czech Republic. After his playing career, he became a coach at AEK Athens, where he secured consecutive promotions to the top level in Greece. Unfortunately, he was subsequently dismissed, a fate that also befell him at the Greek clubs Atromitos Athens and Panetolikos.

Michalis Kapsis

Football ran in Kapsis’s family, with his father Anthimos being a Greek international and part of the Panathinaikos team that lost to Ajax in the 1971 European Cup final. Following his stint with Panathinaikos, Anthimos joined Bordeaux before playing for Olympiacos, APOEL, Levadiakos, and Ethnikos Piraeus (his first club), where he eventually retired in 2012. After retiring from football, Kapsis chose to step away from the limelight and was not involved in the sport. Today, he serves as a Fire Captain in the Hellenic Fire Service.

Takis Fyssas

Fyssas played for Benfica and scored in the 2004 Portuguese Cup final, preventing José Mourinho’s Porto from achieving a treble. A month later, he started as left-back all the way to the final held at ‘his home’: the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. After his playing career, he became the technical director of the Greece national team and later served as the director of football at Panathinaikos.

Kostas Katsouranis

Katsouranis is one of the most experienced Greek footballers. He played in multiple major tournaments, earning 116 caps for Greece, and is a member of the exclusive club of players with over 100 caps in the history of the Greece national team. After his career, he stayed active, becoming technical director at Panachaiki FC, where he also gave Master Classes of Football at the Institute of Vocational Training. In 2017, he was appointed as an Ambassador of the United Nations. He has also frequently appeared as a commentator and pundit on Greek national TV.

Theodoros Zagorakis

Speaking of experience: Theodoros Zagorakis. He was the captain of the national team. With 120 caps, Zagorakis was Greece’s all-time leader in international games and its longest-serving captain. UEFA named him the Most Valuable Player of the EURO 2004 Championship. Throughout his career, he played for clubs in the Premier League, Serie A, and the Greek Super League. After his illustrious playing career, Zagorakis became President of PAOK FC in 2007. Afterward, he dedicated himself to a career in politics. Representing the New Democracy party, he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in the 2014 European elections. He was re-elected in 2019.

 

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Angelos Basinas

Angelos Basinas, the man who provided the corner kick through which Angelos Charisteas scored the winning goal in the final against Portugal. Like his midfield colleagues, he is one of the four players who played more than 100 matches for Greece. We are not sure what Basinas has done after his football career.

Dimitrios Giannakopoulos

With Giorgos Karagounis suspended, Giannakopoulos started in the final. The former player for Bolton Wanderers, Hull City, and Larissa had his most successful years with Olympiakos, winning the league in each of his seven seasons. In 2010, he retired from playing and became the president of the Greek Professional Footballers’ Association. Two years later, he began his coaching career with Paniliakos FC. He also ventured into the business world, serving as CEO of VIANEX, Greece’s largest pharmaceutical company, founded by his father, Pavlos Giannakopoulos.

Zisis Vryzas

Zisis Vryzas, a beloved figure among PAOK fans, enjoyed a career abroad with clubs like Perugia, Fiorentina, Celta Vigo, and Torino. In 2006, he made his way back to Greece, and after hanging up his boots in 2008, he became PAOK’s technical director. Vryzas had a brief stint as Fernando Santos’s assistant with the national team and even served as PAOK’s club president. Since August 2015, he’s been applying his expertise as the technical director at Veria.

Angelos Charisteas

Angelos Charisteas became a national hero in 2004 with his winning goal in the final against Portugal. His success at Werder Bremen prompted Ajax to sign him in 2005. Charisteas never became the football hero in the Netherlands that he is in his homeland of Greece. Nevertheless, the former striker of Ajax and Feyenoord runs a restaurant in the heart of Amsterdam, specialized in the typical Dutch dish ‘wentelteefjes’. He also briefly served as technical director of Aris, his first club, in 2014.