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Giorgos Karagounis

Personal information Full name: Giorgos Karagounis Date of birth : March 6, 1977 (age 33) Place of birth : Pyrgos, Greece Height : 1.76m (5 ft 91â „2 in) Playing position : Midfielder Club information Current club: Panathinaikos Number : 26

Giorgos Karagounis (Greek: ΓιώργοςΚαραγκούνης; born 6 March 1977in Pyrgos, Greece) is a Greek football midfielder who currently plays for Panathinaikos FC.He is best remembered for scoring the first goal of UEFAEuro 2004, a very long range effort that helped his team to win the opening game of the tournament, in which the Greekssurprisingly emerged as champions. His style of play combined with his rather small stature has earned him comparisons with the former Greek midfield star Mimis Domazos. Karagounis captained Greece's entry to the 1998UEFAUnder-21 Championship, and the team came very closeto winning, losing 1-0 to Spain in the final. After that, he soon became a regular on the national team. He made his first full international appearance against El Salvador in 1999and went on to appear in qualifying for the 2002FIFA World Cup. The highlight of his international career was undoubtedly winning the European championship for Greecein Euro 2004.

He was a key player for Greeceand famously scored the first goal of the tournament against Portugal, a stunning long range shot that shocked the hosts and gave Greecethe confidence they needed to win the game and progressin the tournament.

After winning Euro 2004,Karagounis continued to play on a regular basis for Greecein the 2005FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2006World Cup qualifying campaign, and the Euro 2008finals. On 26 March 2008,Karagounis participated in a Greece-Portugal friendly match in D端sseldorf, Germany. This proved to be somewhat of a highlight of his international career as he scored two almost identical well-placed free-kicks to give Greecea 2-1 victory. Giorgos Karagounis as a captain of Greececontributed to the qualification for the 2010FIFA World Cup. As captain, he led the Greek National team to its first win in a World Cup match with a 2-1 win against Nigeria. On October 8 2010,against Latvia, Karagounis reached 100 appearancesfor the Greek national team equalling the record of his Euro 2004winning ex-teammate Angelos Basinas. On 12 October 2010Karagounis made his 101'st appearance, becoming the second most capped player in Greek football history behind Theodoros Zagorakis and scoring his seventh goal in the victory against the Israel national team.

Giorgos Karagounis