Striker Diamantakos gets Greece call up for European qualifiers, Papadopoulos back from injury



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ATHENS, Greece — Greece coach Claudio Ranieri called up 21-year-old striker Dimitris Diamantakos on Wednesday for the opening European Championship qualifier against Romania on Sept. 7.

The Olympiakos forward could make his debut for the senior squad at Karaiskaki Stadium as Ranieri looks to replace some aging strikers. Greece struggled in attack at the World Cup in Brazil, and was eliminated in the second round after scoring only three goals.

Fanis Gekas, a 34-year-old forward, was dropped. But Ranieri included striker Kostas Mitroglou despite Fulham's relegation last season.

Defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos returns to the national squad following a two-year absence after his career was rocked by a serious knee injury that spurred the Bundesliga player to switch from Schalke to Bayer Leverkusen on loan.

He joins Kostas Manolas, who was signed by Roma on a five-year contract on Tuesday, following a 13 million euro ($17 million) transfer from Olympiakos.

Ranieri has not named the squad's new captain to replace Giorgos Karagounis, who announced his international retirement at the World Cup after 139 appearances.

Greece and Romania are in Group F along with Hungary, Finland, Northern Ireland and the Faeroe Islands.


Squad:

Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Udinese), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Mainz)

Defenders: Vassilis Torosidis (Roma), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Kostas Manolas (Roma), Vangelis Moras (Verona), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Bayer Leverkusen), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos), Dimitris Siovas (Olympiakos)

Midfielders: Jose Holebas (Olympiakos), Nikos Karabelas (Levante), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Verona), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos), Andreas Samaris (Benfica), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Verona), Panagiotis Kone (Udinese), Costas Fortounis (Olympiakos)

Striker: Georgios Samaras (West Bromwich Albion), Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Stefanos Athanasiadis (PAOK)

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