Weird World Cup: 10 amazing facts about Greece

1) Greece's national side is nicknamed The Pirate Ship - a reference to a craft used in the opening ceremony of Euro 2004 to represent Portugal's history of exploration. Commentator Georgios Helakis suggested that his side should "become pirates and steal the victory", which they did against the hosts in the final.

2) German coach Otto Rehhagel likes his players to man-mark - so much so that he has said: "I want to know the aftershave used by every player in Europe."

3) Sotirios Kyrgiakos has inspired a brilliant Liverpool chant to the tune of Campione. It goes: "We said his days were numbered, Now he plays here every week. We can't pronounce his surname, so we call him Nick the Greek. Oooh Kyrgiakos, the one and only, he is a loon."

4) Tuesday is considered the unluckiest day of the week for the Greeks. Not a good sign that the team's third group game against Argentina takes place on Tuesday the 22nd of June then...

5) Panathinaikos are known as The Rabbits - so when midfielder Giorgos Karagounis went to take a corner at Iraklis last December, the home fans pelted him with carrots.

6) Wonderkid Sotiris Ninis spent the first six half of the 2006/7 season as a Panathinaikos ball boy and the rest in the first team.

7) In bizarre bonding sessions, the team have been known to stay up the night before big games drinking coffee.

8) While Theofanis Gekas is known as 'the Greek God' to fans of Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic striker Giorgos Samaras was dubbed 'the Greek Tragedy' while at Manchester City.

9) Before their astonishing triumph at Euro 2004, Greece's record at major tournaments was an amazing P6 W0 D1 L5 F1 A14.

10) Gekas was signed on loan by Portsmouth in January 2009, but quickly fell out of favour after manager Tony Adams was sacked a week after clinching the deal. The forward played only one minute for the Fratton Park side, replacing Jermaine Pennant in a 2-2 draw against West Brom in April.

Fancy winning £3,000 for FREE this month? Play Mirror Football Streak for your chance to win cash prizes! Start predicting now!

williamhill.com

Your comments

Blogs & Categories