Fifteen years ago they were opponents during Greece’s triumph in lifting the Euro 2004. The young Christiano Ronaldo at that time faced Traianos Dellas, dubbed “The Colossus of Rhodes,” twice — and both times he failed to emerge on the winning side.
On Sunday they met again at an exclusive resort in the southern Peloponnese, where Ronaldo and his family are spending their holidays. Undoubtedly, the epic Lisbon final was among the topics of discussion.
Dellas reportedly said he is relieved he would not have to face Ronaldo at a testimonial game between Portuguese and Greek veterans scheduled for July 4, on the anniversary of the Euro 2004 final.
Dellas had an exceptional tournament at Euro 2004, partnering Michalis Kapsis in the center of what became an almost impenetrable Greek defense, leading to him being chosen for the tournament all-star squad.
During the semifinals, he scored the only silver goal ever in the last minute of the first half of extra time against the Czech Republic, allowing Greece to progress to the final. This was Dellas’ only goal for the Greek squad.
The coach of the Greek team called him “the Colossus of Rhodes,” reflecting his awe at Dellas’ performances in the tournament, and the moniker is now widely used in the press.
Dellas is now a football coach, managing among other teams his beloved AEK Athens, Atromitos and Panetolikos.