Colombia v Greece: Greece coach Fernando Santos claims Kostas Mitroglou will have an impact at World Cup despite woeful season at Fulham
Saturday 14 June 2014
For all that the build-up to Colombia and Greece was dominated by a striker who won’t be playing, the irony is it could well be settled by a forward who has barely played all year.
It certainly feels one of football’s quirks that the injured Radamel Falcao will not be available for this World Cup, while Greek manager Fernando Santos has just declared that Kostas Mitroglou will be fit.
The latter barely played for Fulham last season after a £15m January move from Olympiakos, with his transfer - which was the most expensive in Greek history - ending up one of the curiosities of the season. Felix Magath never illustrated the faith in him that Santos has.
The reality for the international team is that there is no doubt about Mitroglou’s importance, no sense of farce about his input. He is one of Greece’s most important players, as illustrated by the three strikes in the 4-2 aggregate play-off win over Romania that secured their place in Brazil.
“Being a player who has an important role in the team due to his characteristics we understand that Kostas should be here,” Santos said. “Everything is ok.”
“I think he has been improving a lot physically so that is not a problem. He may be lacking rhythm a bit but after each day he is better and Mitroglou will be close to his top performances here.”
Greece will need that. He is the only player that provides penetration in a largely defensive side. In the absence of Falcao, meanwhile, Colombia will look to another forward who has attracted Premier League attention: Jackson Martinez.
One of them will have to make his presence felt - especially in such a seemingly open group.
Latest in Sport
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed