A brief guide to the game in Greece

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The Independent Football

"Podosphairo, vrasta!" Otto Rehhagel might have said on Sunday night, had the German coach been able to speak more than a smattering of Greek. It means "football, bloody hell!" So, in order to steer you through the pub conversations of the next few days, we present a (very) brief guide to the Greek game.

"Podosphairo, vrasta!" Otto Rehhagel might have said on Sunday night, had the German coach been able to speak more than a smattering of Greek. It means "football, bloody hell!" So, in order to steer you through the pub conversations of the next few days, we present a (very) brief guide to the Greek game.

1) This is unquestionably the Greeks' greatest sporting triumph. This may seem harsh on the ancient Olympics, but they were rather like World Series baseball - open to the host nation only.

2) "Ena-miden, kepizoime panta ena-miden" means "one-nil, we always win one-nil". Greece qualified for Portugal on the back of four successive 1-0 wins and then beat the holders (France), the form team (Czech Republic) and finally the hosts by the same score.

3) All the Greeks who appeared in the final had Christian and surnames ending in "s".

4) Greece have qualified for one World Cup, in 1994, and that was because Yugoslavia were expelled because of civil war. The Greeks lost every game.

5) Traianos Dellas was rubbish at Sheffield United. Howard Kendall bought him to "provide company" for United's other Greek, Vasilis Borbokis.

6) Greece's first king after independence in 1821 was a German named Otto.

7) Football was a minority sport in Greece until a military dictatorship took over in 1967. It was decided to invest heavily in the game to steer café conversations away from politics.

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