Greece national football team
The Greece football team is the selection of Greek players representing the country in international men's football competitions, under the aegis of the Greek Football Federation.
The Greek selection won, to the surprise of observers, its first international title at Euro 2004, a tournament which was won by only nine selections. This is his only major title to date. She has also played in the FIFA World Cup three times, in 1994, 2010 and 2014. Her best result in this competition is the round of 16, which she reached in 2014 by beating Côte d'Ivoire two goals to one, the decisive goal having been scored from the penalty spot in the last minute of added time by Georgios Samaras. Her successes led her to reach 8th place in the FIFA rankings in 2008 and then in 2011.
Until 1926: The beginnings of football in Greece
The first Greek clubs were founded at the end of the 19th century. The Panionios NFC, for example, was created in 1890 in Smyrna. Football in Greece is managed by the Hellenic Amateur Athletic Association (SEGAS), which is the very first sports federation in Greece, from its inception in 1897. On the occasion of the 1906 Intercalary Olympics (a competition which was not recognized by the IOC), a football event was organised, in which selections from Greek cities (Athens, Salonika and Smyrna) took part, as well as a Danish selection from Copenhagen, the clear winner.
In 1919, a football tournament was organized as part of the Inter-Allied Games in Paris, which celebrated the victory of the First World War. Greece sends a selection made up of soldiers, which faces Serbia, Romania, for two victories, and France and Italy, for two defeats. At the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, while engaged in the Greco-Turkish war, the Kingdom of Greece sent a new selection, this time composed of players from Paniónios and Panathinaikos mainly, under the direction of George Kalafatis. She lost heavily in the first round, August 28, against Sweden (9-0).
1926-1954: The first steps of the official selection
The activities of the clubs develop and they therefore decide in 1926 to create a dedicated federation, in order to be able to organize a national championship: the Hellenic Football Federation. This affiliated with FIFA the following year, in 1927, launched the championship awaited by the clubs, and soon set up an official national team.
The first official match of the selection is organized on April 7, 1929 against an Italian selection bis. It ended in a logical defeat (4-1). By equalizing, Alberto Nahmias scored the first official goal for the Greek national team. In the aftermath, the Greeks participated in the first edition of the Balkan Cup, which ran from 1929 to 1931. Winners in Athens of Yugoslavia in January 1930 (their first victory) then of Bulgaria in December, they finished in 3rd place in the tournament behind the Yugoslavs and the Romanians. On the other hand, they do not accompany their two neighbors to Uruguay for the first World Cup, where the Yugoslavs are particularly good. In 1932 and 1933, the Greeks finished in last place in the following two editions of the Balkan tournament.
In 1934, they entered the qualifications for the next World Cup. The draw makes them face Italy, the host country of the competition. The Greeks are beaten 4-0 in the first leg. The return match is not played after an agreement between the two federations, the Italians agreeing to provide financial assistance to the Greek federation. In December, Athens hosts a new edition of the Balkan Cup. The Greeks finish second