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The Greece national under-20 football team is the national under-20 football team of Greece and is controlled by the Hellenic Football Federation, the governing body for football in Greece. The team competes in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which is held every two years. To qualify for this tournament (which is held in odd years), the team must finish in the top six of the UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship from the previous year.
Senior national team: The first game of the Greek national team ended on 7 April 1929 with a 1: 4 defeat to Italy. Greece qualified for the FIFA World Cup three times in 1994, 2010 and 2014. Greece has qualified four times for the European Championship, 1980 for the first time, 2004 for the second time, 2008 for the third time and 2012 for the fourth time. 2004 was their most successful run, as they were champions in the final against hosts Portugal.
The team's success in qualifying for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA was the first time they qualified for the FIFA World Cup. Greece finished first and unbeaten in the qualifying group and prevailed in the final against Russia. In the finals, Greece moved into Group D with Nigeria, Bulgaria and Argentina. Following a successful qualifying session, expectations in Greece were high, as no-one could imagine the imminent amazing failure. The main reason for this total failure was the fact that legendary coach Alketas Panagoulias opted for a squad of players - though most of them are aging and out of shape - who helped the team in qualifying, rather than seeing new talent a reward for their unparalleled success. In addition, they had the disadvantage of being drawn into a "group of death", with the runners-up at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Argentina, the eventual semi-finalists Bulgaria and Nigeria, one of the strongest African teams. It is noteworthy that all the players of the squad, including the three goalkeepers, participated in these three games, which is very rare. This tournament was humiliating for the Greek squad. In their first game against Argentina at Foxboro Stadium just outside Boston, they lost 4-0. Four days later Greece suffered another 4-0 blow against Bulgaria at Soldier Field in Chicago and again lost 2 at Foxboro Stadium against Nigeria. In the end, Greece dropped out in the first round by losing all three games, scoring no goals and conceding ten goals.
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