Manolas rekindles memories of Dellas heroics at Euro 2004
Tuesday evening wasn’t the first time a Greek defender scored a dramatic late goal in a continental match, as Kostas Manolas’ historic marker for Roma provoked memories of the legendary Traianos Dellas semi-final winner in Euro 2004.
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With the UEFA Champions League quarter-final match between AS Roma and Barcelona hanging in the balance, 26-year old defender Manolas made headlines all over the world by glancing a corner past the goalkeeper to seal a Roma victory on the away goals rule.
Manolas’ heroics has rekindled Euro 2004 nostalgia among Greek football fans. In the unforgettable semi-final against the Czech Republic, the score was 0:0 in the first half of extra time, but Traianos Dellas flicked a header into the net in the dying seconds to send Greece into the final with a silver goal.
The similarities are there for all to see. Manolas and Dellas, both centre-backs, escaped their markers at the near post to beat the goalkeeper with headers. The goals were hugely important too, with Manolas completing an incredible Roma comeback against Barcelona and Dellas helping Greece defy the odds and make the Euro 2004 final.
If you look at their career paths, it’s clear how the two are linked. Just like Manolas, the now 42-year old Dellas once played for Roma, making 44 league appearances with the Italians in three years. The defenders were also teammates at AEK Athens, winning the 2010/2011 Greek Cup together.