Karagounis to lead Greece at World Cup

Veteran midfielder Giorgos Karagounis will captain Greece at the FIFA World Cup after being named in Fernando Santos' preliminary squad.

Karagounis played a bit-part role for Fulham this season but he will lead the Greeks in Brazil, with the 37-year-old amongst the 29 men selected on Tuesday, which will eventually be trimmed to 23.

The tireless midfielder only appeared 14 times as Fulham were relegated from the Premier League alongside Cardiff City and Norwich City.

The 132-cap veteran, who has made the most appearances in the history of the national team, will feature at his second consecutive World Cup finals after competing in South Africa, where Greece failed to advance from their group.

Karagounis will be joined by Fulham's record signing and team-mate Kostas Mitroglou, who failed to score a goal since making the switch to London from Greek giants Olympiacos.

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Panagiotis Kone will also be keen to link up with the national team, having also experienced relegation to Serie B with Bologna.

Georgios Samaras, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Vasilis Torosidis, Panagiotis Tachtsidis, Kostas Fortounis, Ioannis Fetfatzidis, Theofanis Gekas, Orestis Karnezis, and Loukas Vyntra are the other players plying their trade outside of Greece.

Olympiacos dominated the local contingent, with no less than six players on the provisional list, though rivals PAOK have five.

Greece have upcoming friendlies against Portugal, Nigeria and Bolivia before their opening Group C clash with Colombia in Belo Horizonte on June 14.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Panaglotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos), Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Michalis Sifakis (Atromitos), Alexandros Tzorvas (Apollon Smyrnis).

Defenders: Jose Holebas (Olympiacos), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiacos), Kostas Manolas (Olympiacos), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiacos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Dimitris Siovas (Olympiacos), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma), Giorgios Tzavellas (PAOK), Loukas Vyntra (Levante).

Midfielders: Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna), Ioannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Sotiris Ninis (PAOK), Andreas Samaris (Olympiacos), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor).

Forwards: Theofanis Gekas (Konyaspor), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham), Dimitris Papadopoulos (Atromitos), Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Georgios Samaras (Celtic).