Soccer-Greece cut Papadopoulos, Tzorvas from World Cup squad


* Coach Santos names final 23-man squad

* No place for defender Papadopoulos

* Keeper Tzorvas also omitted (Adds details)

By Graham Wood

ATHENS, May 19 (Reuters) - Olympiakos Piraeus centre back Avraam Papadopoulos was among the leading players cut from Greece's World Cup squad as coach Fernando Santos named his final group of 23 players on Monday.

The 29-year-old, an integral part of the squad since making his debut in 2008 but with limited playing time this season, was omitted with 32-year-old Evangelos Moras of Hellas Verona taking his defensive spot at the Brazil finals.

Goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, who started all three of Greece's matches at the last World cup in South Africa in 2010, was also a surprising cut from the provisional squad with PAOK's Panagiotis Glykos chosen instead.

Other unlucky players left out were strikers Dimitris Papadopoulos of Atromitos and PAOK Salonika's Stefanos Athanasiadis, both of whom had impressive domestic campaigns.

Panathinaikos' young forward Nikos Karelis, who at 22 has time on his side after breaking through this season with his club, was also cut, along with Levante defender Nikos Karabelas and Kaiserslautern midfielder Kostas Fortounis.

As expected, Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou, who has barely played this year due to a knee injury, was included in the final 23.

Mitroglou, who joined the London club from Olympiakos for 11 million pounds in January, played for only two hours in three matches as the Premier League side were relegated.

However, his three goals in the 4-2 aggregate playoff victory over Romania that took Greece to the finals have obviously kept him in favour.

The 26-year-old's Fulham team-mate Giorgos Karagounis, the Greece captain with 132 caps, was also named in the squad, along with other experienced campaigners such as midfielder Kostas Katsouranis and Georgios Samaras, who is leaving Celtic this summer.

Greece face Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C in Brazil.


Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panaglotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos)

Defenders: Kostas Manolas, Giannis Maniatis, Jose Holebas (all Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Giorgios Tzavellas (PAOK), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma), Vangelis Moras (Hellas Verona).

Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Ioannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna)

Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Giorgios Samaras (Celtic), Konstantinos Mitroglou (Fulham), Theofanis Gekas (Konyaspor) (Reporting by Graham Wood; editing by Justin Palmer)

What to Read Next