In 2009, Greece was at the 13th position of FIFA's special ranking, in 2010 at 11th, in 2013 at 12th and in 2014 held the 24th position. In recent years after the success of Euro 2004 and with the "know-how" of victories, the National Team was making proud every Greek. Those were the years that our National Team was a subject of real admiration.
Unfortunately, the landing was abnormal and tough. Claudio Ranieri may have won Premier League with Leicester City, but he combined his time on the bench of the National Team with the absolute failure and had to leave the country in a bad way. Sergio Markarian was just a temporary solution, followed by the hiring of Michael Skibbe, because "German managers fit well in Greece".
The trip to Australia for two friendly games against the "Kangaroos" however, came to confirm that the National Team... is clearly heading in wrong paths. And SDNA records the strange incidents that proved how some people managed to destroy a very successful side. Incidents that reveal that we are not speaking about a real team any more and that the "environment" around it is not the one it should be!
The negativity started with the announcement of match squad. Of course, the two games against Australia were friendly, but official ones and every player has to deal with respect the great honor of wearing the blue-white shirt with our emblem. Still, the absences were many and well-known.
Kostas Manolas was not included, because he had planned to marry his fiancé on Saturday, along with Dimitris Siovas, who was best man at the wedding of AS Roma's central defender. Clearly, a wedding is a very important moment in a person's life, but the friendly games against Australia were announced a long time ago. If, moreover, Greece had advanced to Euro 2016, what would they had done? Certainly, Manolas, and Siovas were not the only ones who claimed that they could not be included. Nikos Karelis was expecting his wife to give birth, while Kostas Mitroglou stated that he is injured and not available.
Another extremely weird incident is that Greece made such a long journey without a 3rd goalkeeper in the match squad!
10 tickets were given to officials who wanted to accompany the National Team, as a "pre-election" present, but it seems that they could not found another one for the 3rd goalkeeper. Of course, the laws of football punished them, with the injury of Orestis Karnezis, which forced them to call Atromitos' Vasilis Barkas (a goalkeeper who was on holiday and has not trained for days), asking him to fly to Australia as soon as possible.
What if Stefanos Kapino was suspended or also suffered an injury during the first friendly game against Australia? Or it was unlikely one of the two goalkeepers who did the trip at first to get sick? We are talking, after all, for a transatlantic and very tiring journey!
Last, but equally important and equally indicative for those controlling the National Team and the greek football as well. While in Australia there are thousands of Greeks, the representatives of Hellenic Football Federation turned their backs to them and official reactions and announcements are expected by their side in the next days.
However, nobody seems willing to take the responsibility for all those mistakes. The only side that loses, after all, is our National Team. A team that made us celebrating in the streets of the country and was our pride for more than 10 years, is now... lost and abandoned to the hands of those who brought the Greek football in this situation...