One of us ... Apostolos Giannou at Socceroos training. Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
One of us ... Apostolos Giannou at Socceroos training. Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas MICK TSIKAS

Greece no longer word as Aussie is one that he wants

Socceroos striker Apostolos Giannou said he would have no trouble celebrating if he scores against Greece at ANZ Stadium tomorrow night, despite playing for that team last year.

The 26-year-old was born in Greece but moved to Australian at a young age, and he played in a friendly for the Greeks in November last year.

He recently pledged his allegiance to Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, who was also born in Greece but moved to Australia as a child.

The marksman said the "politics" of Greek football and a youthful desire to wear the green and gold was why he chose to settle on Australia.

This could add some spice to tomorrow night's friendly, but Giannou said he was looking forward to it, and would still celebrate a goal if he does find the back of the net.

"In general with that team they like to make fun of each other so it will be a lot of banter. It will be fun," he said. "I have a few teammates in the national team and that I played with (at club level) and we're very good mates.

"There's nothing wrong with celebrating, especially as it will be my first goal for Australia. I'll definitely celebrate."

Giannou, a former goal-scoring star in the Greek Super League, made a good first impression for the Socceroos in his debut in March's World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan.

He was involved in four goals in the 7-0 thrashing in Adelaide.

Giannou admitted it would be a "weird feeling" lining up against Greece but added he would be happy to pass on any inside information to Postecoglou.

He also observed there was a big difference in professionalism in the respective national camps, but said it would be silly to underestimate a rebuilding Greek side which missed out on Euro 2016.

"They didn't do that well in the qualifiers but if you look at players individually they are all playing in big leagues and they are very good players," Giannou said of Greece, which is still ranked at 37 in the world, with Australia at No.50.

"They are playing in Germany, Italy; it's not going to be as easy as some people think. They have very good players and I think it will be a strong test for us."

Superstar forward Tim Cahill, Nathan Burns, Mathew Leckie and Giannou are all available after missing the 2-1 loss to England last weekend.

Trent Sainsbury, Ryan McGowan, Alex Gersbach and Jason Geria are also available for this clash, which is the first of two friendlies, the other at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium next Tuesday night.

Australia's next round of World Cup qualifiers begins against Iraq on September 1.



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