Part of the reason why you should remember Giorgos Karagounis' performance on day nine of Euro 2012 is because, even though Greece again mocked prognosticators by advancing to the quarterfinals, it might have been his last appearance in a European Championship. The 35-year-old captain, who is suspended for Greece's quarterfinal match due to a dubious yellow card for diving -- a fate similar, yet completely incomparable to when he was held out of Greece's memorable win in the Euro 2004 final -- scored the only goal in Greece's final group match against Russia just before the ref blew for halftime. This turned Greece's Euro 12 campaign from an endless stream of economy jokes to a reason to celebrate...that also includes quite a few economy jokes.
This is how Greek commentator Giorgos Helakis responded to Karagounis' goal (via 101gg)...
With stops at Inter and Benfica bookended by his periods with Panathinaikos, Karagounis has had a nice club career that has mostly served as a way to occupy his time between international matches. Earning his 120th cap in that match against Russia, making him Greece's joint most capped player with Theodoros Zagorakis, Karagounis will be remembered foremost as a player for Greece. He scored the first goal of Euro 04 against host nation Portugal after just six minutes of play and he scored the goal that yanked Russia away from an appearance in the knockout rounds after it seemed that appearance was a foregone conclusion.
And now, in the interest of knowing him a little better, here are a few gyros of information I just made up about him:
-He's won two Academy Awards.
-He famously gained 60 pounds to play Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull.
-He will punch you in the face if you go up to him and ask, "Are you talkin' to me?"
-Made the mistake of appearing in a film with Eddie Murphy.
-He is not Al Pacino.
-Quite good at Russian roulette.