Mitroglou makes preliminary Greece squad
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Striker Kostas Mitroglou has been named in Greece’s preliminary World Cup squad despite his troubled move to relegated Premier League side Fulham, while injured-plagued defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos was not included.
Greece’s football association released the names of the 30-player squad late Wednesday, and is due to announce the final 23-man squad on Monday.
The 26-year-old Mitroglou sent Greece to the finals in Brazil, scoring three goals for a 4-2 aggregate win over Romania in the playoffs. But he has struggled since his move to London in January, playing in just three matches and scoring no goals due to a knee injury and being dropped from the starting lineup by coach Felix Magath.
Fulham teammate and veteran of the 2004 winning European Championship squad, Giorgos Karagounis, stays on as captain.
Greece faces Colombia, Japan and Ivory Coast in Group C at its second sconsecutive World Cup.
Coach Fernando Santos also called up two players from Panathinaikos, which recovered from a spell of poor form to win the Greek Cup, naming goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino and forward Nikos Karelis.
The Portuguese coach was forced to leave out Schalke defender Papadopoulos, who missed most of the season at the Bundesliga club through injury.
The Greek FA had said it would not make the preliminary list public, but then released the names following reports of the lineup in the news media.
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Alexandros Tzorvas (Apollon Smyrni), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK)
Defenders: Vassilis Torosidis (Roma), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos), Yiannis Maniatis (Olympiakos), Jose Holebas (Olympiakos), Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona), Giorgos Tzavellas (PAOK), Costas Manolas (Olympiakos), Nikos Karabelas (Levante)
Midfielders: Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Costas Katsouranis (PAOK), Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Yiannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Costas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos)
Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Georgios Samaras (Celtic), Fanis Gekas (Konyaspor), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Dimitris Papadopoulos (Atromitos), Stefanos Athanasiadis (PAOK), Nikos Karelis (Panathinaikos)
Follow Derek Gatopoulos at http://twitter.com/dgatopoulos