“Hey, are you going to bankrupt?”. The most frequently asked question in my mailbox. Many of my fellow sports reporters are afraid of our situation. Especially when time comes for them to make a quick trip to Athens, or Thessaloniki for a match. “Hey, how do you do that, with your national team? The championship is very poor, but the Greek team holds on, how?”. That’s the second most FAQ to my mailbox, from all over the world. So it’s time for me to give an open answer: Hey, I don’t know the future of my country. I can’t make a prediction or a bet on our bankruptcy. And, as all Greeks, I am really pissed off. Yes, it’s funny when you here the “don’t worry, you will have bundesliga in the Greek football stadiums in the near future” joke. But that’s no longer a joke for us. And although the Greek politicians are giving you, world, the right to joke on them, you don’t have any right or permission to joke on us, Greeks, in general.
Yes, feel safe to travel to Athens, or to other Greek cities. We are poor but we don’t eat people! Not yet! Yes, I would recommend a quick google search, to know about the current situation when the time, for your visit, comes. It may be useful or even necessary for us to create an “accuwheather” type of application for your iphone, to display everything about strikes and protests, in order to make your trip more pleasant and secure. In fact, you can make a quick search to the appstore at your arrival. There are some apps already there…
To tell you the truth, I honestly believe that the situation for the visitors is not like back in 2008. You ‘ll enjoy less, not more. You will have to be more careful during your night or day walks. But that’s all folks. Yes, Greeks are sad, disappointed, nervous, worried, but all these don’t change that: Greeks are still very proud! #fact.
And what about the national football team? Is this team an exception? If we compare the team’s course in Euro 2012 qualification round with the lever of the domestic championship, yes, Greek team is an exception. The biggest investigation ever in football corruption showed, last summer, that Greek football is corrupted. But, for God’s sake, let the national team out of this discussion. This team if full of health, honesty, principles, talent, work, passion, pride. Fernando Santos created a Team, more creative and inspiring than Rehhagel’s version. The new team is trying to create, not to destroy football. Mark my words on that. You will be forced to agree during next summer’s tournament. The time will come for my mailbox to welcome your new version of the faq question: “hey, how is that? Who taught you how to create football?”.