Euro 2012 Players to Watch: Giorgos Karagounis of Greece

By Tony Mabert
at Internationaled.org

Published: June 5, 2012

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One of the members of the Greece squad, which defied the odds by winning Euro 2004, Karagounis’s continued presence eight years on is the perfect illustration of the midfielder’s dogged determination.

At 35 years of age, he is one of the oldest outfield players to be competing in Poland and Ukraine, but he remains a vital part of the Hellenic side which stands a good chance of reaching the knockout phase.

IN NUMBERS

Karagounis has made 228 league appearances for Panathinaikos during two spells at the Athens club, even though he was refused a professional contract there having gone through their youth system.

His best ever return of goals in a league season was nine, scored for Pana back in 1999-2000.

Despite making 21 Serie A appearances during his two-year spell at Inter Milan, Karagounis never registered a goal in the Italian league.

With 117 senior caps to his name, Karagounis is just three short of matching Theo Zagorakis’s Greek record of 120 international appearances.

Karagounis may be in his mid-30s, but he started all 10 of Greece’s matches in qualifying for Euro 2012.

His only goal of that campaign came against Israel, the winner in a 2-1 victory in Athens early in qualifying which ultimately helped them top Group F by two points.

No Greek player played more than Karagounis’s 864 minutes in qualifying for Euro 2012. The next closest was his midfield partner at club and country, Kostas Katsouranis, who clocked 820 minutes.

In all, Karagounis only missed 43 minutes of the Group F campaign, completing seven of Greece’s 10 matches.

WHAT TO EXPECT



Karagounis will chiefly be remembered for his long-range strike against Portugal in the opening match of Euro 2004, but he has made his impact on the club stage too.

Back in his younger days he scored fine goals against...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - International Football

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