ATHENS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Sergio Markarian has been appointed as Greece’s new national coach, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said on Thursday.
The 70-year-old Uruguayan succeeds Italian Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked after just three months following Greece’s poor start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
“Mr. Sergio Markarian is the new coach of the national team following a unanimous decision of the EPO board and the recommendation of (former Greece captain) Mr. Giorgos Karagounis,” EPO said in a statement.
“The contract ... will run until December 2015 and will be extended until July 2016 if the team qualifies for the final phase of the European Championship.”
Former Greece international Nikos Kostenoglou was named as one of Markarian’s assistant coaches.
Ranieri was shown the door in November following a humiliating 1-0 home defeat to the Faroe Islands which left Greece bottom of qualifying Group F.
Makarian, nicknamed El Mago (The Magician) for his tactical nous, won domestic titles with clubs in Paraguay, Chile and Peru and his last job was with the Peruvian national team.
During his spell in Greece, where he coached Ionikos, Panathinaikos and Iraklis, he was known for his so-called “tsuku tsuku” football which involved grinding out low-scoring wins.
Editing by Pritha Sarkar