In stark contrast to the Cameroonian or Ghanaian players, who nearly refused to play until they received their World Cup bonuses, the Greek national team has asked that its soccer association use the money from their World Cup bonuses to build a new training center for the team. After qualifying for the round of 16 for the first time in the team’s history, the squad detailed its request in a signed letter to the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, on Sunday, ahead of its loss to Costa Rica on penalties.
From the letter: “We do not want extra bonus, or money. We only play for Greece and its people. All we want is for you to support our effort to find a land and create a sports center that will house our national team.”
Separately, Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis announced his retirement from international competition following his country’s exit on Sunday. "This was my last game for Greece,” the 37-year-old said. "These games and experiences are a great launching pad for the future. They will help keep the team on this level, something not always easy. We are Greece after all, we don't have many means.”
The Costa Rica loss was also the final game of head coach Fernando Santos, whose contract expired following the World Cup.