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How Spain’s last competitive home defeat paved the way for Greece’s Euro 2004 win

Spain haven't lost a competitive home match since falling to Greece in a qualifying match back in 2003

We feel pretty bad for any team that has to face Spain at the moment.

Despite a less-than-impressive run out at the World Cup over the summer, La Roja are still a formidable side and boast some of the world’s best players.

So it’s up to England to get the better of them in their Nations League group clash on Monday evening, which will see the likes of Koke, Sergio Busquets and Thiago Alcantara face Ross Barkley and Eric Dier.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?


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What’s more, Spain are seemingly invincible when they’re playing at home and are currently unbeaten in their last 38 competitive games.

In fact, their last competitive home defeat came against Greece way back in 2003, when Bolton legend Stelios Giannakopoulos netted the only goal of their Euro 2004 qualifier in Zaragoza.

But other than being Spain’s last home defeat in competitive football, this match stands out as a golden moment in Greek football.

Up against the likes of Fernando Morientes, Raul and Juan Valeron, Greece pulled off an almighty defensive performance that would later help them secure their place at Euro 2004.

This was all the more impressive considering Spain were previously unbeaten in their qualifying group before their meeting with Greece, and were largely expected to top the table which included the likes of Ukraine, Armenia and Northern Ireland.

But Greece’s manager Otto Rehhagel not only guided the international minnows to their first major tournament in a decade, but also helped them run out as qualifying group winners – one point clear of second-placed Spain.

This bonkers thing happened a year later

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This bonkers thing happened a year later

Spain of course got to Euro 2004 the hard way – winning their play-off clash to reach the finals in Portugal – and faced Greece again in the tournament’s group stage.

Of course, Greece would shock us all by going all the way to the final and finishing off hosts Portugal in Lisbon – very much the underdog story of football at the time before Leicester’s Premier League title win.

Question is: Will England win in Spain this evening on their way to winning the Nations League? We’re not so sure.


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