Now approaching his 31st birthday, Sotirios Kyrgiakos is one of the oldest players in the Greece squad, although he was not a member of the side that became European champions in 2004.
Known mainly as a central defender, Kyrgiakos is also a useful makeshift full-back, having slotted in on the right side of defence for Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool on more than one occasion.
His talents were spotted in local league football in the mid-1990s, with Panathinaikos promptly whisking him off to their youth academy. Although he was later loaned out to Agios Nikolaos, he played a part in the Pana side that won the league and cup double in 2004.
The following year he was off to Scotland, winning another league and cup double with Glasgow Rangers, before joining Eintracht Frankfurt and then returning to Greece to captain AEK Athens. After a year in the Greek capital, it was back to the UK to sign for Liverpool.
Although somewhat injury-prone, he has always earned the confidence of the various coaches he has played under. Aside from the extensive experience he has gained at club level, he has also collected over 50 caps for his country, including appearances at the FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 and UEFA EURO 2008. The defensive know-how he has acquired along the way could come in very handy at South Africa 2010.