Giorgios Karagounis has been a free agent since he was released by Fulham at the end of the previous season and a few months ago reports began emerging claiming that the former midfielder was thinking about making a return to the playing field but those rumors did not last very long as Karagounis is starting a career as a coach instead of a player.
The playing career of Karagounis has seen him performing with Inter Milan, Benfica and Fulham just to name a few of his clubs but it has been with his country where Karagounis has really managed to make an impact as Karagounis was the captain of Greece for over 2 years.
Former Fulham midfielder Giorgos Karagounis has announced his retirement from the game in order to focus on his role as the football director with the Greece national team. The Europeans recently appointed former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri as their new manager. This was after Fernando Santos stepped down from his role after the World Cup 2014. Karagounis is widely regarded as one of best players of his generation from Greece. Ranieri wasted no time in having him on board to help him with the national team. One of the immediate tasks for Ranieri will be to get the team into Euro 2016 finals.
The national team definitely has made a disastrous start to life in the Ranieri after losing two out of the opening three matches. They have taken only one point from these three matches and already faced the prospect of missing out on an automatic qualification spot. This is after the fantastic start made by the likes of Northern Ireland, who have a 100% record. Karagounis goes out from the game after having achieved a lot including winning the Euro 2004. Not many expected Greece to win this competition, but it was made possible with the quality from players like Karagounis.
Karagounis says that it is a delight to have enjoyed such an illustrious playing career. Now he is focusing on his role with the national team. “I am officially retiring from football. I wasn’t planning on retiring – I was training on my own and considering my last move. However, after talking with the FA president and meeting [coach] Claudio Ranieri – as well as receiving calls from my former team-mates who wanted me to return – I made up my mind. For now, I will mainly be with the seniors in the role of liaison between players and coach,” said the former Fulham man.
Walter Mazzarri was finally happy man after seeing his Inter Milan team manage a 7-0 rout of Sassuolo in the Italian Serie A during the weekend. Inter have undergone massive changes over the summer including the arrival of players like Vidic on a free transfer. However, there continues to be doubts about Mazzarri’s ability to take the team back to the top of the table. The former Napoli manager failed to get the club back into the Champions League last season despite a promising start. Mazzarri has once again managed to get the team playing in excellent fashion at the start of this campaign.
Inter failed to win on the opening day after a 0-0 draw with Torino, which once again raised suspicions about Mazzarri. The manager, who signed a new contract extension only in the summer much to the surprise of many, has pulled off a 7-0 victory in the second match. The 21-year-old Icardi, who appears to have a bright future ahead of him, was the star of the show after securing a hat-trick. Players like Osvaldo, who have been signed in the summer from Southampton, also managed to get on the scoresheet. After the encounter, Mazzarri reflected on this excellent performance by saying that this is the way he wants Inter to be playing every week.
“We had already ended last season with this style of football, though a few players have changed. I said during the week that the wide midfielders had to pressure quickly and push forward, be aggressive, as that is the football I like. Playing in this way and with this tempo is the ideal of football in my view. We hope to continue like this. Our objective is to always maintain this attitude, determination and aggression on the field. We need to be fast, move the ball around quickly,” said Mazzarri.
Inter Milan go into the new 2014-15 season not with aspirations of just getting back into the top three, but possibly winning the title. The club looked contenders for the title in the first half of last season. It will be a major test of manager Walter Mazzarri to convert this into a challenge for the rest of the campaign. The former Napoli manager recently signed a contract extension to confirm that he was staying at the club. There has been a lot of speculation about Mazzarri’s future after he failed to get to the club back into the Champions League in his first season.
It was not long ago that Inter won the league title and the Champions League in the same season. They have fallen so far behind the pack that they are not considered as one of the top clubs anymore. The likes of Fiorentina and Roma are threatening to take their place in the Italian Serie A, but Mazzarri has urged the players to get their focus back and never become satisfied with their achievements in the coming campaigns. Inter are currently in the pre-season tour of the United States where they have made likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Roma.
“At this moment of the year we can’t decide on our target for next season. But it’s clear that when you coach a team like Inter you want, as soon as you can, to bring the team back to where it belongs because of its history. We have had a good beginning during this pre-season and we have some interesting young players. We have started a new era at Inter and our mentality, our attitude, must be that of a team who are never satisfied and who always play to win, regardless of who our opponents are,” said Mazzarri.
Fernando Santos guided the Greek national football team to the Round of 16 which was the furthest that the squad had reached in their history. Greece faced off with Costa Rica and ultimately lost on a penalty shoot-out.
Despite having made it so far, the contract of Santos expired the next day of his team’s elimination and no contract extension was made as he was released from his position in the team.
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.