Qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013 represents a major achievement for Greece, who have never appeared at the tournament before – something of a surprise given the fact that the senior side, who triumphed at UEFA EURO 2004 and qualified for both the 1994 and 2010 FIFA World Cups™, can be considered among Europe's stronger footballing nations. The Greeks have, however, participated in four of the last six UEFA U-19 European Championships.
Greece impressed once again at the recent U-19 EURO in Estonia, responding to an opening 2-1 defeat against Spain with a 4-1 victory against the hosts and a 3-2 success against Portugal to reach the semi-finals and duly book their place at Turkey 2013. Their surprise final appearance was made possible by a 2-1 extra-time victory against England in the last four before they were trumped by Spain once again, 1-0 in the decider.
Led by midfield gem Giorgos Katidis and striker Dimitris Diamantakos, Greece's determined performances in Estonia offered plenty to suggest a bright future ahead for Kostas Tsanas' charges. The fact that various members of his squad have been a part of the set-up for several years will help in terms of experience, and some players have already gained valuable playing time in the Greek top tier. Aside from Katidis and Diamantakos, big things are also expected of wingers Kostas Stafylidis, Charis Mavrias and Giannis Gianniotas, but the true star of this Greek ensemble is the team.