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Rehhagel raises Austrian spirits

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Rehhagel raises Austrian spirits

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel has reassured Austria that they can "only emerge as winners" at UEFA EURO 2008™ after attending a meeting with Heinz Palme, Austria's tournament co-ordinator.

'More than football'

The pair held discussions ahead of this evening's gathering for 2008 – Austria on Ball, for which Palme acts as managing director. The initiative is helping devise measures aimed at developing local interest in the country's greatest-ever sporting event, and Rehhagel is sure it will be met with unreserved success. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said the 68-year-old German. "You have to offer people much more than just football. And I am sure that Austria and Switzerland will organise a perfect European Championship."

'Main ambition'

Rehhagel's Greece side are the holders having prevailed in Portugal in 2004, but failed to reach the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and the coach is dreaming of defending the crown. "My main ambition is for us to qualify for the finals," he said, before assuring Austria that the home support will lift the hosts, irrespective of indifferent form in friendlies. "Everything which happens ahead of [the opening] game is meaningless. When it kicks off, with the stadium full, the players can surpass all they've done before. Austria can only emerge as winners."

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