Born in former Czechoslovakia to a Czech father and Greek mother, Loukas Vyntra is one of the few members of the Greece squad to hail from outside the country.
The 29-year-old defender is an experienced international and a familiar face in Otto Rehhagel’s line-ups, playing as a libero at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004, the FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 and UEFA EURO 2008. He did not play a part, however, in his country’s finest hour, their UEFA EURO win at Portugal 2004.
Vyntra embarked on his club career in 1998 at Almopos Aridaia before spending a season at Paniliakos and another at Pontioi Verias.
In 2001 he returned to Paniliakos, enjoying fairly regular first-team football over the next three years.
It was then that the mighty Panathinaikos came in for him. Finding greater consistency and making light of the criticism that sometimes came his way from the terraces, he gained the confidence of the various coaches that occupied the Pana hotseat.
He won his first trophy at the end of the 2009/10 season when the Athens side ended Olympiakos’s recent domination of the Greek Super League.