What do Turkey, Sweden and Moldova have in common? Everyone has placed a representative on the group stage of the current Champions League. The facts may seem trivial, but these countries are low in the UEFA rankings (19th, 23rd, 33rd) but better than Greece. Olympiacos, who lost in the third round of qualifying, could not reach the pool.
This small earthquake in the Greek Republic, which did not occur for the second time at this stage of the 21st century, shows the continued decline of Greek football. PAOK, who traveled to Marseille in the quarterfinals of the Europa League conference on Thursday, April 7, is the only survivor of the European scene.
PS landed! pic.twitter.com/GUz9mVYsyW
— PAOK FC (@PAOK_FC) April 6, 2022
Olympiacos often play in the Champions League, but they haven’t reached eighth place since 2013-2014 just by composing the numbers. In the last three editions, he has won only twice. To make matters worse, when AEK Athens took over in 2018-2019, he broke an embarrassing zero point. “”Financial crisis [en 2008] Cleaned up the club’s financial strength“Martial Debaux, a journalist specializing in Greek football for the Footballski media, points out.
The observations are clear. Until 2007, there were two direct tickets for C1 chickens in Greece. Half-mast results are better than the only sesame in the 2016 group stage. Now the Greek champion has to go through the qualifying round. “”The transfer window and preparation start much earlier, the simple fact of going to the chicken is very difficult“The specialists continue. Last year, Olympiacos overcame three rounds of playoffs to join the pool and finish the playoffs in Manchester City, Porto and Marseille, where they participated directly in the group.
Like a virtuous circle, these difficulties are the result of outdated sports policies. “”The club is accumulating older players and is not jumping on modern football wagons based on the buying and selling of young people“, He grows up. A glance at the Olympiacos workforce confirms his words. Kenny Lala, Yann M’Vila, Mathieu Valbuena, Youssef El Arabi, old acquaintances of League 1 It’s all impossible to stay competitive and to derive economic value from them.
Their presence, in a sense, delays the emergence of young Greeks. “”The club doesn’t trust them enough. At the age of 21 or 22, they have no professional experience.“, Marshall Devoe unfolds. The choice suffered directly from these ignition delays. Everyone was surprised to win the Euro 2004, but Greece has been slowly moving forward since then. increase.
“Philosophy, the Greeks give the impression that the warrior is on the ground and thinks that everything goes through a defensive identity.”Martial Debeaux, Greek Soccer Specialist at Footballski
In Franceinfo: Sports
In addition to the 2004 abuse led by Otto Rehhagel, the pirate ship has had some success. At the 2014 World Cup, the selection stopped at the quarter-final gate and was led by the very strict Fernando Santos. But since then it has completely settled down. Greece is no longer eligible for major competition, even if the euro expands to 24 teams in the meantime.
Generation gap papers can also be mobilized.Old hands Kostas Manolas and Sokratis are declining and goalkeepers Odyssey Vlachodimos is the only starter for the major club Benfica. Is Greek football really in trouble after this observation? The endemic violence that surrounds the club does not help. In 2018, the image of President PAOK with a gun on the pitch spread all over the world. Due to the high frequency of field invasions and stand battles, the Ministry of Sports announced the closure of all supporter groups in February.
In the midst of this slump, all the reasons for hope remain the same. “”Olympiacos achieved a psychological breakthrough by maintaining coach Pedro Martins, even if he didn’t become the champion in 2019. He is now finishing his fourth season.“, Marshall Devoe continues. Above all, the famous UEFA coefficient is recovering. Greece has scored more points than Switzerland, Scotland and Belgium throughout the season, but better results in the last five years. Is left.
PAOK’s epic at the Europa League conference is no wonder. At this tournament, Greek clubs have the means to compete for at least the quarterfinals. Unknown in France, the Saronica Club eliminated Lagantwards in the previous round. In full development, the team led by Razvan Lucesque will soon be equipped with a new modern stadium. A symbol of Greek football that is advancing at its own pace.