Greece – @EliteGKAcademy
Greece may be a country that is struggling in many areas, however, football seems to be one of the only things the nation can shout about and be proud of at the moment.
Greece, as a footballing nation probably isn’t one that you would associate with having a wealth of goalkeeping talent and I think not many could name a goalkeeper other than Antonios Nikopolidis, when asked about Greek goalkeepers.
Below I have outlined the goalkeepers I believe to be in contention to appear for Greece in this Summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Seemingly Greece’s No1 heading into the WC as he has started all WCQ Games.
Began his youth career with Omilos Filathlon Irakleiou in 2003. Moved professional with club from 2005-2007 not making a 1st team appearance. Moved to Panathinaikos in 2007 making 54 appearances then signed for Udinese in 2013 and was immediately loaned out to Granada in La Liga.
Most notable performance to date came in a Granada shirt where he won MOTM award in helping his team pull off 1-0 victory over Barcelona, pulling off a string of superb saves in the process.
Karnezis uses his superior footwork to move around the goal extremely quickly, he makes quick adjustments when the ball is moved in order to get him into the best position possible to deal with any shot, through ball, cross or corner.
His ability to read game situations is brilliant, he acts as a sweeper-keeper and is also able to comfortably deal with one on one situations by closing the distances quickly and covering his angles, which gives him great success in one on one situations.
Karnezis displays great athleticism during games and this attribute leads to him being able to save some of the more difficult shots to deal with, i.e. top corner, free-kicks etc.
Having viewed footage of Karnezis I believe him to possess great reactions, we can probably attribute this to the above points, being able to read the game well, to move into position and pull off athletic saves.
Karnezis is more than competent in this department, he seems very safe and possesses the ability to hold on to shots that other keepers may look to parry/deflect.
I have a feeling this could be a great tournament for Orestis Karnezis and he may be able to command a big move once the World Cup is over. Watch this space!
Ever present No2 to Karnezis during the recent WCQ’s.
Similarly to Karnezis, Sifakis began his career with Omilos Filathlon Irakleiou back in 2002 playing 104 matches before leaving in 2008 for Aris, there was also a brief loan spell from 2007-2008 in which Sifakis moved to Olympiakos, playing only 2 games. From there Sifakis moved to Aris, making 80 appearances over 4 seasons before moving to Charleroi, making 10 appearances during the 2012-13 season before moving to Atromitos, where he currently plays.
Sifakis seems to be quite an imposing figure on a 6ft1 inch frame. He makes himself appear big when faced with one on one situations and also likes to throw himself into challenges when presented with the opportunity.
He seems comfortable in commanding his area when his team are defending corners or are defending crosses, he’s able to read the flight of the ball well, claim and looks to get the ball away as quickly as possible to start an attack.
Sifakis looks competent in dealing with most shots, however, his decision making in the build up to making a save seems erratic at best. He opts for the more flamboyant save as opposed to making a simple save, this could put him and his team under a lot of unnecessary pressure.
Overall, I’d say Sifakis is a fantastic No2 who may feel a little hard done by not to be wearing the No1 shirt going in to the WC, had he not had such a good goalkeeper in front of him in the pecking order.
There seems to be a little uncertainty in relation to the identity of the 3rd choice goalkeeper leading up to the WC, if the previous friendly is anything to go by we are looking at either Panagiotis Glikos or Alexandros Tzorvas