Greece Win Euro 2004 to Overcome 150/1 Odds

Euro 2004 Greece Win

Prior to this competition, Greece’s only other appearance in the European Championships had been way back in 1980, when they ended up top of group 6 to make it to the final competition.

The competition structure was different back then, with the final 8 teams being split into two different groups before going on to the semi finals. Greece got no further than this in 1980, finishing at the bottom of their group.

In 2004 though, things were very different.

Priced at 150/1 at the start of the competition, no one really expected them to get to the final, let alone to win it, but after a mediocre start Greece offed a number of much better teams to claim the trophy.

The Euros are obviously a heavily bet on competition, and people did back Greece at those long odds, but the most money known to be won from their historic win was the £332,625 taken by a Greek man who placed a succession of bets at William Hill shops in and around Woking as the tournament went on.

The first was a £4k wager at 50/1 earlier on in the competition, which he added to at a later stage with another bet of £8k at 10/1. Finally, the day of the final, he staked a further £12,500 on Greece winning the trophy, for a complete wager of £24,500.

How Greece Won Euro 2004

Greece Team Euro 2004

Greece started their campaign well with a 2-1 victory against the hosts, Portugal – and in the tournament’s opening match too. They took the lead after just 7 minutes, netting another thanks to a penalty in the second half. Ronaldo got an extra time goal for the hosts but it wasn’t enough to get them back in the game.

In their second group stage match, Greece faced Spain and managed to secure a crucial 1-1 draw. This result gave them hope for progression to the knockout stages, as they avoided defeat to another much more fancied team.

Greece faced Russia in their final group game, arguably their easiest game but ironically the only one they would lose. They went a goal down after just 2 minutes, and by the end of the first half it was 2-1, with no further goals coming in the second half of the game.

They scraped through to the knockout stages on goal difference with 4 points from 3 games; Spain being level with them but having scored fewer goals.

In the quarter-finals, Greece faced the defending champions, France. Against all expectations, Greece produced a defensive masterclass and scored a dramatic goal in the 65th minute to secure a 1-0 victory.

The semi-final against the Czech Republic was a tightly contested match that remained goalless in regulation time. In extra time however, a goal from Traianos Dellas secured Greece a spot in the final with another 1-0 win.

The final was another match against Portugal, the tournament favourites and hosts.

In an astonishing turn of events, Greece displayed defensive resilience and tactical discipline that Portugal could not break through. At the other end of the pitch though, a goal from Angelos Charisteas in the 57th minute was enough to clinch Greece a historic 1-0 victory, and their first-ever major international title.