Seitaridis handed surprise Greece recall

ATHENS - Greece coach Otto Rehhagel sprang a surprise on Friday by handing defender Giourkas Seitaridis an international recall for 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Latvia and Luxembourg.

Seitaridis, 28, was without a club for four months after being released by Atletico Madrid in May, a year before the end of his contract.

The Euro 2004 winner re-signed for Panathinaikos last month but has not featured in a competitive match while attempting to build up his fitness levels.

The last of Seitaridis's 66 caps came in Greece's 2-1 home win over Israel in April.

Another surprise inclusion is striker Vangelis Mantzios. The 26-year-old has been brought in to replace Angelos Charisteas, who is nursing a thigh injury.

Mantzios, who has seven caps, the last of which came in a friendly against Italy in November last year, is behind Djibril Cisse, Dimitris Salpigidis and Antonis Petropoulos in the Panathinaikos pecking order and has not played a competitive match this season.

Greece, second in Group Two, three points behind Switzerland and level on 14 points with Latvia, complete their qualification with home matches against the Latvians and Luxembourg on October 10 and 14 respectively.

Greece squad:

Goalkeepers: Kostas Chalkias (PAOK), Michalis Sifakis (Aris), Alexandros Tzorvas (Panathinaikos)

Defenders: Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos), Sotiris Kyrgiakos (Liverpool), Sotiris Papastathopoulos (Genoa), Vangelis Moras (Bologna), Vasilis Torosidis (Olmpiakos), Nikos Spiropoulos (Panathinaikos), Loukas Vintra (Panathnaikos), Giourkas Seitaridis (Panathinaikos)

Midfielders: Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos), Alexandros Tziolis (Panathinaikos), Vasilis Pliatsikas (Schalke), Grigoris Makos (ÁÅÊ Athens), Giorgos Fotakis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos), Kostas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Christos Patsatzoglou (Omonia)

Strikers: Dimitris Salpigidis (Panathinaikos), Theofanis Gekas (Bayer Leverkusen), Yiannis Amanatidis (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic), Vangelis Mantzios (Panathinaikos)