Caltex Socceroo Giannou ready for Greek banter

Caltex Socceroos striker Apostolos Giannou isn't quite sure of the Greek word for banter, but he's expecting plenty of it from his ex-Greece teammates and says he’ll definitely celebrate if he scores his first international goal for Australia in the Dodoni Series.

Giannou, who was born in Greece but grew up in Australia, is set to line up against the Greeks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night in a Socceroo jersey. 

Having played alongside most of the Greek squad at either international or club level, the 26-year-old is expecting a few jibes from his ex-teammates after he played a friendly for the Greeks last November. 

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“I’m sure there will be,” Giannou joked on Thursday when asked about banter from his former teammates.

Apostolos Giannou celebrates a goal with teammate Bailey Wright.

“I have a few teammates in the national team and that I played [with at club level] and we’re very good mates.

“In general with that team they like to make fun of each other as well so it will be a lot of banter. It will be fun.”

Giannou, a former Greek Super League goal machine, made a strong first impression in the green and gold in his debut in March’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan, involved in four of the goals of the 7-0 rout in Adelaide.

But it’s his first international goal the Guangzhou R&F striker really wants, admitting he won’t have any trouble celebrating should he score against the country of his birth.

“I think I will,” he said with a smile.

“There’s nothing wrong with celebrating, especially as it will be my first goal for Australia, I’ll definitely celebrate.”

Apostolos Giannou is likely to earn another call-up for the Caltex Socceroos.

Giannou admits it will be a “weird feeling” lining up against Greece and says he’ll be happy to pass on any inside information to coach Ange Postecoglou and his teammates.

He also noted a big difference in professionalism in camp between the two nations but said it would be foolish to underestimate a rebuilding Greek side which missed out on Euro 2016.

“They didn’t do that well in the qualifiers but if you look at players individually they are all playing in big leagues and they are very good players,” Giannou said.

“They are playing in Germany, Italy, it’s not going to be as easy as some people think. They have very good players I think it will be a strong test for us.”