Greece hires Gus Poyet as coach after World Cup setback



ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Gus Poyet was hired as coach of Greece’s national team on Friday in a change of leadership after its failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.


The Greek Soccer Federation said it had reached an agreement with the former Chelsea, Tottenham and Uruguay midfielder. Poyet’s contract is to the end of 2023 with a 12-month extension option.


The 54-year-old Poyet replaces Dutch coach John van’t Schip who resigned in November after Greece finished third in its World Cup qualifying group behind Spain and Sweden.


“I have great respect for Greek football players and their abilities and from what I have seen so far, I believe that there is the right material and all the conditions to do well at the upcoming events. I can’t wait to meet the players and get started,” Poyet said during a signing ceremony.


Poyet has coached teams in several countries, including China, Spain and France, with spells at the helm of Brighton and Sunderland in England, and Greek club AEK Athens.


The 2004 European Champion, Greece has struggled in recent years to reach major tournaments. Greece is placing its hopes in a rebuilt youthful side that includes 25-year-old Liverpool defender Kostas Tsimikas to try and qualify for the 2024 European Championships in Germany.