His routine has not changed much since July 2004 when he wrote his name into football history with the winning goal at the European Championship final in Portugal.

That goal made him a hero in his home country but Charisteas has now not found the back of the net for Greece since 30 March when he scored in the Germany 2006 qualifier against Albania. Moreover, Otto Rehhagel's team failed to score a goal at the FIFA Confederations Cup and notched just a single point with Wednesday's draw against Mexico.

Before flying back to sunny Greece, the 25-year-old talked to FIFAworldcup.com about the pressures in the Greece squad and the challenges that lie ahead.

The Greek national team was far from impressive at the FIFA Confederations Cup. Why is that?
We are facing a tough period and we haven't been able to show our traditional aggressiveness. Before the Confederations Cup we had two very difficult qualifying matches, against Turkey and Ukraine, and we didn't come in the best shape to Germany. In our first match here we had to play Brazil, which always mean a huge challenge. We lost 3-0 and then against Japan we performed poorly again.

Has the team been under enormous pressure after winning last year in Portugal? Is this a factor that is undermining your game? Obviously if you become European champions the expectations of everybody increases. Unfortunately in football you cannot always keep on playing at the highest level. From now on we'll have to focus on qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. We should think positively and above all we must believe that we'll always do better in our next game.

What about your opponents? Do they try harder than before? After all, they are playing against the champions of Europe.
Let's say it like this: if you play against Brazil, there is no difference, they are always the favourite. Against Japan, we played poorly. I'm not satisfied at all with our performance.

Some Greek media vehemently criticised manager Otto Rehhagel after the defeat against Japan. To what extent is Rehhagel responsible for the poor performances?
In Greece it is always like this. If the team wins, everybody is a hero. If you lose, the press reacts vehemently. To be honest, I don't care about what they write and say. It's always good to remember that the Greek national team started from scratch before winning the European Championship.

Do you see a strong group of newcomers backing up the key players of 2004?
We cannot expect to find replacements for 15 people just in one year. Right now we have got five new players with us, (Ioannis) Amanatidis, (Efstathios) Tavlaridis, (Loukas) Vyntra, (Theofanis) Gekas and (Sotirios) Kyrgiakos. The coach has been planning with this roster for the qualifying matches as well. It's fundamental to achieve success with this group of people.

Greece have not been scoring regularly in recent games. Is the fact that you tend to be the only forward in the starting line-up hampering your chances? Would it be better for you to get a striking partner?
Our team doesn't play very offensively - we are not Brazil. Obviously for a striker it's much more difficult to score if there is no attacking partner. That said, you have to keep in mind that we became European champions playing the same style of football. The problem right now is our lack of aggressiveness.

Qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup is still possible but extremely difficult. How do you rate your chances?
It's not easy but feasible. Turkey have some very tough matches as well. We can make it.

Did you ever expect such a strong Ukrainian side?
Truth be told, they are not that strong. I have followed all their games on TV and I must say that they are extremely lucky. In football you have to play well and to be lucky. Ukraine play well and they are lucky.

Was it a good decision for you to move from Werder Bremen to Ajax last season?
I'm very satisfied with my performances in the past month and a half and I'm really looking forward to the start of the new season. I hope to be scoring regularly then.

In terms of atmosphere, was the FIFA Confederations Cup similar to a Bundesliga match?
No, it's very different. To feel the support of 30,000 Greeks in the Waldstadion (in Frankfurt) is something unique. To see the Brazilian fans cheering their side is simply great. At the Confederations Cup you can see other colours. The atmosphere is very nice.

Is Otto Rehhagel the right man for now and for the future of the Greek national team?
Regardless of our performance at the FIFA Confederations Cup, I cannot imagine Greece without Otto and neither can Greece.

It appears that the general situation in Greek football has not improved after Portugal. Do you agree?
After a big success you cannot expect that everything will suddenly change for good. Things such as the mentality and the organisation cannot be changed in one year. These have been traditional problems for Greek football. The clubs are facing financial trouble and marketing has not been properly exploited. Clubs are not well organised, with the exception of Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. We still have to wait. I hope that in ten years Greek football will be administrated like in Germany.

Is the victory at the UEFA EURO 2004 still just sweet memories or did it become somehow a nightmare?
Football is always like this. When such a big achievement triggers so much pressure you have to be strong and show your strengths. It's the only possible solution.

What are your ultimate goals?
I would love to win the title with Ajax and to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.