GREECE IS THE WORD; Football Heroes Fire Up Their Nation 'Now the Whole Country's Self-Confidence Will Grow'

Article excerpt

GREECE'S Euro 2004 win over Portugal has given every struggling sporting nation a glimmer of hope.

The story of how their football team went from underdogs to heroes will become legend in their homeland.

But what does the team's victory mean for their nation?

Psychiatric professor Prem Misra, of Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow, believes the impact the victory will have on the Greek psyche cannot be emphasised enough.

He said: 'Everything and everybody will be affected by the victory.

'It was such a delightful and unexpected surprise, it will take a little longer than normal to sink in but it will have positive effects on everybody.

'Greeks at home and abroad will be celebrating and everyone will feel happier and more cheerful, from politicians to the ordinary man on the street.'

And it will not just be a psychological reaction.

Prof Misra explained: 'Scientists have proved that a morale boost of this kind affects hormone levels in the body which lead to a greater feeling of self-esteem on an individual and group basis.

'The whole nation's self-confidence will grow because of the footballers' victory, which is incredibly important for any country.

'They will even find the stress of organising the Olympic Games easier to cope with because they have had such a morale boost from their footballing success.'

However, he believes it could have a less positive effect on the country's Olympic team.

Pressure He said: 'Now the Greeks have had a taste of victory they will expect more from their other athletes.

'But the added pressure this brings shouldn't create problems for the footballers themselves.

'The players will get such a kick out of being honoured as heroes they will work extra hard in training and try even harder to win games for a long time to come.

'It will even carry on to the domestic clubs they play for.

'The Olympic athletes too will now be more determined to do their country proud.'

Andhe said the Euro 2004 win could even help the Greeks complete their Olympic building programme. …