Head coach of the Greek national team, John van ‘t Schip, explained his squad selection for two upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Italy and Bosnia.
With Greece virtually out of contention for a berth at Euro 2020, Van ‘t Schip has decided to use the games against Italy and Bosnia as an opportunity to see the potential of the younger players.
Experienced veterans such as Kostas Manolas, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Mitroglou, Vasilis Torosidis and Andreas Samaris have all been left out of the team, while Panagiotis Retsos, Pantelis Hatzidiakos and Konstantinos Galanopoulos were selected. “We feel that this is the right time to give young, talented players with potential a chance to play for the senior national team,” revealed the Dutchman in an interview published on the Hellenic Football Federation’s site.
“This will help create a new approach and culture. Obviously, this brings about changes to the roster, but I would like to make it clear that no player has lost their place. Everyone remains at the disposal of the national team. All of the players are focused on achieving the team’s goals, and I am happy that they put the national team’s interests above their own.”“Our project requires time, confidence and support,” continued Van ‘t Schip.
“We should be judged in two years’ time. Taking into account the team’s current status in Euro 2020 qualifying and the importance of the UEFA Nations League and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, we decided to launch our Qatar Plan project now. We are aiming to create a team which stands out with its spirit, attitude, energy and quality of football. The national team must be an incentive and a priority for the players.”
Greece currently occupy fifth position of Group J in Euro 2020 qualifying with five points from six games. Second-placed Finland are seven points ahead. On October 12, the Ethniki will play Italy in Rome, before returning home to Athens to host Bosnia three days later.