Greece can't seem to qualify for a World Cup, but the reigning European Champion absolutely cruised through Euro 2008 qualifying, and could be considered a favorite to retain that title in Austria and Switzerland next summer. The AP points out that Otto Rehhagel's men achieved their impressive qualifying run with many of the same players who lifted the title in Portugal four years ago. The Greeks beat France, the Czech Republic and Portugal twice en route to their famous Euro 2004 victory.
Newcomer Theofanis Gekas, a striker for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, was bold in
assessing the Greeks' chances of repeating. "Why not? We have shown that we have a great group of players and I believe that if we play the way we know we can then we could do it again." Gekas
scored three goals against Malta in Greece's final qualifier.
Greece is automatically a top seed in Sunday's Euro 2008 draw as defending champion, as are Austria, Switzerland and the
Netherlands. The other pots are equally all over the place. For example, it's conceivable that the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France could all be in the same group -- each of these teams is
ranked in FIFA's top 10.