OFFICIAL: Vlachodimos cleared to represent Greece
After weeks of speculation, Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos has received the green light from FIFA to represent the senior Greek national team.
Having been born in Stuttgart into a Greek family, Vlachodimos represented Germany at all youth levels, notably winning the 2017 UEFA U21 European Championship. This summer, the 24-year old moved to Portuguese giants Benfica from Panathinaikos, where he immediately became the starting goalkeeper and sparked calls for him to be called up to the Greek national team. In a conversation with the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO), Vlachodimos stated that he wants to play for Greece as a senior international.
On Monday afternoon, governing body FIFA granted the EPO the green light to summon Vlachodimos to the senior Greek national team.
The EPO revealed the news with this following statement:
“Today, the International Football Federation (FIFA) informed the Hellenic Football Federation of its decision concerning footballer Odysseas Vlachodimos.
On the grounds of the independent decision made by the FIFA Player’s Status Committee, the request issued by the Hellenic Football Federation and footballer Odysseas Vlachodimos has been granted. The footballer can represent the Greek national team from immediate effect.”
In response to FIFA’s positive decision, EPO chairman Evangelos Grammenos shared his feelings: “The Hellenic Football Federation fulfilled its duty towards the national team and the footballer, and after undertaking the required procedures, we achieved the result which we expected. In view of the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, we have strengthened the team with a player of international quality and the head coach now has more options. We welcome Odysseas Vlachodimos to the Greek national team family.”
It’s now expected that Vlachodimos will be called up to the Ethniki Omada for the final two matches in the UEFA Nations League against Finland (November 15) and Estonia (November 18) in Athens.
So far, Vlachodimos has made 16 appearances for Benfica in all competitions, conceding 18 goals and registering five clean sheets. Previously, the goalkeeper played for VfB Stuttgart and Panathinaikos.