Whether it be their surprising Euro 2004 success a decade ago or their dramatic qualification from this year’s World Cup group stages, Greece tend to be a team of feelgood moments.
Their latest warming turn of events comes courtesy of a Greek report which suggests the squad have politely turned down a bonus from their Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, for reaching the knockout phase for the first time in the famous tournament’s history.
Instead, they requested that the cash be used to build a brand-spanking new training centre for the national side so that they can continue to provide better results for their country.
A very brief letter read, according to NewsBomb.gr:
"We do not want extra bonus, or money. We only play for Greece and its people.
“All we want is for you to support our effort to find a land and create a sports center that will house our national team ".
Compare and contrast this to Cameroon threatening not to show up in Brazil at all prior to the World Cup kicking off over bonus rows.
Then, earlier this week, 3 million dollars had to be shipped out to Brazil so that Ghana would see through their third and final group stage match against Portugal.
Neither of those sides made it to the last-16. Greece did.
That alone says a great deal about the importance of integrity and national spirit, even in a sport as high-profile and rabidly-competitive as football.
- Sports & Recreation
- Antonis Samaras