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Page last updated at 22:13 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 23:13 UK

Rehhagel proud of dignified exit

Otto Rehhagel
Rehhagel's side came up short this time around

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel said he was proud of his side, despite seeing them exit the tournament with a third straight defeat.

The holders, who were eliminated from Euro 2008 after losing their first two games, were beaten 2-1 by Spain.

"After the game I don't want to put the blame on individual players," he said.

"We didn't have the necessary luck and the Spaniards showed more alertness. But we wanted to leave in a dignified fashion and we achieved that."

Rehhagel led Greece to a shock victory four years ago, but the defence of their title ended when they lost to Sweden and Russia.

They threatened to go home with a consolation win after Angelos Charisteas headed them in front.


But second half goals from Spain's Ruben De la Red and Daniel Guiza saw them finish bottom of Group D with no points.

"I wish we could have at least got a draw," Rehhagel said. "There is no shame in not beating any of these teams.

"Russia beat the Swedes. The Spaniards are outstanding and the Swedes are strong.

"We were the underdog last time and we won. We didn't expect a repeat of that.

"I've said it before, we're a team that finds it hard to score. We never said we'd beat Sweden 3-0, Russia 4-0 and Spain 5-0. We said we'd come here and do what we can."

Goalscorer Charisteas was unhappy with the way the Greeks fell apart in the second half.

He added: "I'm quite upset. We weren't organized properly.

"We believed in victory, that's the way we go into every game. But we didn't get the breaks we needed."

Group D
18 June 2008 21:40
    P GD PTS
1 Spain 3 5 9
2 Russia 3 0 6
3 Sweden 3 -1 3
4 Greece 3 -4 0

see also
Greece 1-2 Spain
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Euro 2008 day 12 as it happened
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Group D photos
18 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Greece team guide
15 May 08 |  Greece
Spain team guide
15 May 08 |  Spain

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