Jun 29, 2014, 9:03 PM EDT
After 139 caps and 15 years of service, Greece’s midfield warrior Giorgos Karagounis has retired from international soccer, according to UEFA.com’s Vassiliki Papantonopoulou.
With Greece eliminated by Costa Rica on a penalty shootout, it was a tough ending for Karagounis, but he will still hold onto his captaincy for Greece’s deepest-ever World Cup run.
Karagounis, at 37 years of age, went the full 120 minutes in Recife against Costa Rica, something he could rarely accomplish his final few years of club soccer. Nonetheless, he became a Fulham fan favorite at Craven Cottage after years at Panathinaikos.
Always passionate on the pitch, Karagounis completed 72 of 78 passes against Costa Rica, as well as three crosses, six of eight tackles, and three of five corners, all fabulous numbers for a team lacking in creative ability.
Serving as captain from the beginning, he wore the armband for the Greek U-21 side in the 1998 Euro U-21 championships as they lost to Spain 1-0 in the finals. He would earn his first cap the next year against El Salvador, and would play a major role in the Euro 2004 side that would shock Europe by winning the tournament.
He earned his 121st cap in 2012 against Bosnia & Herzegovina during World Cup qualifying, surpassing Theodoros Zagorakis as Greece’s most-capped player
Karagounis scored 10 goals for Greece over his career, the first coming in 2001 against Finland in World Cup qualifying.
- UEFA Champions League roundup: Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Shakhtar go goal crazy 0
- Chelsea 6-0 Maribor: Hazard brace keeps Blues atop Group G 0
- AS Roma 1-7 Bayern Munich: Sublime Bayern smash Roma to go five points clear in Group E 0
- LIVE – Champions League half time update: Blowouts! Get your blowouts here! 0
- FOLLOW LIVE: At the half, unstoppable Bayern Munich up 5-0 at Roma 0
- CSKA Moscow 2-2 Manchester City: Citizens blow 2-0 lead, Champions League hopes in ruin 0