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Football: Karagounis returns to Greece squad

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Fulham midfielder Giorgos Karagounis was among the 20 players called up by Greece coach Fernando Santos Friday for the February 6 friendly against Switzerland at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus.

The 35-year-old midfielder makes his comeback after being left out of the squad for last November's friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

Karagounis, who moved to Fulham from Panathinaikos last year, has been capped 122 times, more than any other Greek player.

Santos also handed a first call-up to 28-year-old defender Sokratis Fytanidis of Athens club Atromitos.

"Fytanidis deserves to be in the squad, he has made steady progress over the last two years. I know what he can offer to the team," Santos said.

The Portuguese coach, who reiterated that he will be stepping down from the Greece job at the end of the 2014 World Cup, said the match with Switzerland will serve as good preparation for next month's qualifier away to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"I will test a few things and we will see what our alternatives are in case we are missing some players," he said.

Greece currently sit second in qualifying Group G with 10 points from four games, but are level on points with the Bosnians, who top the section.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Panathinaikos), Michalis Sifakis (Chaleroi/BEL)

Defenders: Vasilis Torosidis (Roma/ITA), Loukas Vyntras (Levante/ESP), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen/GER), Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos), Sokratis Fytanidis (Atromitos), Nikos Spyropoulos (Chievo/ITA), Giorgos Tzavelas (Monaco/FRA)

Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (APOEL/CYP), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham/ENG), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna/ITA), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Roma/ITA), Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos), Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern/GER)

Forwards: Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiakos), Stefanos Athanasiadis, Dimitris Salpingidis (both PAOK).

le/as13

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/football-karagounis-returns-greece-squad