Greek star Giorgos Karagounis has announced his retirement from international football after Greece were knocked out of the World Cup 2014 at the last 16 stage. Greece came into the match against Costa Rica looking to reach the quarter-finals. After getting a late equaliser to keep their hopes alive and take the match into extra time, Giorgos Karagounis was unable to prevent Greece from being knocked out after a penalty shootout defeat against the 10 men Costa Rica. The 37-year-old midfielder has been one of the important players for the Greek national team over the last decade.
He was part of the team that won the Euro 2004 in the most stunning fashion and it will probably remain as the best moment of his career. Greece were never mentioned as a potential winner prior to the start of the tournament, but despite playing a defensive of brand of football, they won the hearts of many by securing the title. Karagounis has been playing for the likes of Fulham in the last few years. In order to concentrate on his club career, which looks like only has a few years left, he has announced his retirement. The end of the tournament also sees Fernando Santos depart as the national team coach.
“This was my last game for Greece. We wanted to stay in Brazil another week or even longer but you can’t change it now. The national team has grown up, younger players have won invaluable experiences. This is no small thing and as we helped the team come of age we hope it will continue to be as successful in the future,” said the midfielder. The Greek FA not only has a major task in trying to rebuild the team after the departure of Karagounis, but also in finding a new manager.