Alexandros Tzorvas is another Greek goalkeeper to have had his ambitions for club and country curtailed by the long-running career of Antonis Nikopolidis.
Like his fellow custodians Kostas Chalkias and Michalis Sifakis, Tzorvas has had to bide his time and wait for the undisputed Greece and Panathinaikos No1 to hang up his gloves before gaining a chance to show what he can do.
Coming up through the youth sides at Pana, he found the ageless Nikopolidis blocking his route to the first team. As a result, Tzorvas was sent out on loan on numerous occasions between 2001 and 2007, staying for two years at Agios Nikolaos before further sojourns at Markopoulo and Thrasyvoulos. In 2007 he moved to OFI Crete, where he become first-choice keeper on the back of some fine displays.
The former youth international’s solid club form led to a full team call-up in 2008 and a place in the squad for UEFA EURO 2008.
That same year he returned to Panathinaikos, finally making the No1 slot his own following Nikopolidis’ retirement.
Tzorvas was between the posts for the South Africa 2010 play-off against Ukraine last November, keeping clean sheets in both legs as Greece won through to the world finals.