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Serie A

Chalkias sets Greek hopes low

Greece goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias is taking a downbeat view over his side's chances of posing a serious threat at the World Cup, claiming that their participation is success enough.

Chalkias praised the resilience of his country for their performances in recent years but he remains unconvinced that Greece can offer up a threat to the established order in South Africa.

"It's a huge tribute to Greece that we now stand 13th in the FIFA rankings, while a few years ago we were 61st,'' he said. "But we can't make any predictions on how far we can go in the tournament. For us, just our participation might be considered a success.

Chalkias praised the way that coach Otto Rehhagel has led them on to the world stage in recent years but, after their Euro 2004 win, maintains that qualification from the group stage this summer would be a ''huge success''.

"We have qualified for three out of the last four big competitions we were playing in [Euro 2004, Euro 2008, World Cup 2010] and that's something truly amazing and of course, winning Euro 2004 is something that still seems unbelievable,'' he said. "What we want to do in the World Cup is show that we are ready to give our best in order to at least qualify from the group stage. That alone will be a huge success."


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