Salpigidis out for Greece’s 2014 qualifying start

Injured striker Dimitris Salpigidis will miss Greece’s first two

qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup, an absence coach

Fernando Santos described as a ”blow” to the national team.

Santos named his 23-man squad Friday to play at Latvia on Sept.

7 and against Lithuania at home four days later, leaving out the

31-year-old Salpigidis, who fractured a toe on his right foot

during a weekend league game for PAOK Thessaloniki.

Salpigidis scored two of Greece’s five goals at the European

Championship.

”Missing Salpigidis is a big blow to the team,” Santos said.

”The (first two) games are all about concentration and being

serious on the pitch. We have to the level of concentration that

will ended up achieving at the European Championship.”

Santos took Greece to the Euro 2012 quarterfinals, where it was

eliminated by Germany.

Salpigidis’ teammate at PAOK, goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos,

received his first call up to the national team. The 26-year-old

Glykos said he was determined to prove that Santos, his former

coach at PAOK, had made the right decision to include him.

”This is a really big day in my career,” Glykos said. ”It was

always a dream to play for Greece, and now it’s happening.”

Greece’s World Cup qualifying group also includes Slovakia,

Bosnia and Liechtenstein.

Squad:

Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK Thessaloniki), Orestis Karnezis

(Panathinaikos), Alexandros Tzorvas (Genoa)

Defenders: Jose Holebas (Olympiakos), Stelios Malezas (Fortuna

Duesseldorf), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke), Sokratis

Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen), Dimitris Siovas (Olympiakos),

Nikos Spyropoulos (Panathinaikos), Vassilis Torosidis,

(Olympiakos), Loukas Vyntra (Panathinaikos)

Midfielder: Elini Dimoutsos (Atromitos), Costas Fortounis

(Kaiserslautern), Costas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Yiannis

Maniatis (Olympiakos), Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos), Sotiris

Ninis (Parma), Alexandros Tziolis (Monaco)

Forwards: Stefanos Athanasiadis (PAOK Thessaloniki), Lazaros

Christodoulopoulos (Panathinaikos), Fanis Gekas (Levante), Costas

Mitroglou (Olympiakos), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic)