Zeca turns Greek ahead of Bel­gium show­down

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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