20 years ago, Greece were the surprising European champions after sending Spain home in the first phase, eliminate Francewho were the current continental champions, defeated Portugal, who were the hosts, twice, once in the opening match and once in the final.

That day when the Greeks eliminated France in the quarter-finals, Willy Sagnol, Bayern Munich full-back for many years, was on the bench of the France team. after having participated, even if only for a few minutes, in the three matches of the first phase.

Twenty years have passed since that Charisteas header that eliminated Zidane’s France, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Greece will now watch the European Championship on television after losing on penalties to Georgia. And on the Georgian bench is Willy Sagnol. The French coach managed to qualify Georgia for the final phase of a major tournament for the first time in its history.

A Georgian team which starts with Mamardashvili and ends with Kvaratskhelia. But the Georgians’ hero was Nika Kvekveskiri, a 31-year-old midfielder who scored the penalty that took his country on a trip to Germany this summer. Although it would have been of little use if Valencia goalkeeper Mamardashvili allegedly failed to save a penalty against Bakasetas and Giakoumakis would not have thrown his before the decisive throw. There was no need for Greece to start the fifth.

The qualification of the Georgians, who were playing at home, was even more heroic than it was for the first time. Georgia suffered the expulsion of Loire in the 45th minute, but they did not have to play 75 minutes with ten men. The fight ended with the expulsion of the Georgian player, who was on the bench.

“We believe in ourselves and in our supporters,” Kvaratshkelia said before the match on his Federation’s website. There is no shortage of faith among the Georgians, who faced Spain in the qualifying phase and conceded 1-7 in their peloton in Lamine Yamal’s debut with the senior team. But this victory left them no trace. For them, the normal thing was to lose against a triple European and world champion team. He is also the current Nations League champion. Their fight was another, that of the play-offs. He had already completed the first section, leaving Luxembourg aside under the encouragement of Ilia Topuria on the pitch. And the UFC champion was honored before the match.

And in the second round, they again kept their promises against Greece, coached by Gustavo Poyet. The 55,000 supporters present at the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi pushed their team to come to Germany.

It doesn’t matter that Kvaratskhelia, who suffered from muscular problems, had to be replaced with ten minutes remaining in the final. The Napoli star wasn’t there for the penalty shootout, but Mamardashvili was there to occupy the goal. To stop one and scare the other. And so that Willy Sagnol can take revenge on Greece twenty years later.

By wbu4c

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *