OK, I stole that title line from Al Michael’s classic call at the end of the unlikely 1980 USA Olympic Hockey team’s gold medal win over the powerful Russians. (If you want to know what the photo caption means, read the linked article, written before the match). Tonight’s triumph by the Greek National Soccer Team was just as, if not more, remarkable than the 1980 USA win. You must consider the fact that this is the sport the world plays and these were some of the best players in the world trying to win the most prestigious (outside of the World Cup) international sports trophy for their country. Greece had to run a gauntlet of great teams – Portugal, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Add in the facts that they were playing in Portugal and no one can probably name a single Greek player….and I’m not just saying that because their names are hard to pronounce. What I mean is that the players are totally unheralded and pretty much unknown outside of Greece. Most of them play in the local Greek leagues and the ones that have made it on Premiereship(UK), Bundesliga(German), or Italian league teams usually languish on the bench. Lastly, this is the same team that less than a month ago had yet to win a single match in a major finals.
This championship was huge and showed the heart and soul of the Greeks. I for one know that my pride as a Greek-American has peaked. It seems this team was destined and let’s all hope that this segues into a safe and successful Olympic Games in Athens next month. Perhaps it will give everyone a boost of adrenaline to get everything ready in time for the 13th of August.
Na zisete, Ellatha!