Zeca turns Greek ahead of Belgium showdown
ATHENS: Panathinaikos’ Portugalborn captain Zeca expressed joy on Tuesday that he will make his Greece debut against Belgium on Saturday in the World Cup qualifier in Brussels.
Greece coach Michael Skibbe selected Zeca for the table-top tustle with Belgium after the player had been granted Greek citizenship this week.
“Everything that I have earned in life from the first day I came to Greece was given to me by the Greek people. That is why I want to give my heart and my soul for the team to win,” the 28-year-old midfielder said.
Zeca, whose real name is Jose Carlos Gonçalves Rodrigues, was to pick up his Greek passport yesterday.
“We added a player with experience and many appearances in the Greek Super League with Panathinaikos,” Skibbe said of Zeca.
Zeca has played for Panathinaikos since 2011 making 160 appearances and scoring eight goals.
He played one match for the Portuguese Under-23 national team in 2011 and on a club level has also played for Portugal’s Vitoria Setubal (2010-2011) and Casa Pia (20072010).
Belgium are Group H frontrunners with 12 points ahead of Greece with 10 points.
Skibbe said: “We are playing against one of the best teams in the world, but we will play against them without fear.” AFP