Another member of Greece’s exciting young generation, Sokratis Papastathopoulos plays his club football for Italy’s Genoa.
The central defender, who turns 22 just two days before South Africa 2010 gets under way, ran out for both the U-19 and U-21 Greece teams before being called up to the senior team in February 2008.
He captained the Greece side that finished runners-up in the 2006/07 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, though he missed the final against Spain through suspension.
His solid displays throughout the competition nevertheless earned him a place in the Team of the Tournament.
He played his first full international for his country in a friendly against Czech Republic at the start of 2008, but was an unfortunate last-minute omission from Greece’s 23-man squad for UEFA EURO 2008.
He returned to the side for the friendly against Slovakia in August that year and has been a regular member of Otto Rehhagel’s squad ever since.
Papastathopoulos embarked on his club career with Apollon Petalidiou before moving to AEK Athens in 2005. Following a loan spell with Niki Volou, he was appointed the club’s youngest ever captain in 2008.
He signed for Genoa later that year and has just broken into the Serie A side’s starting XI.