Aiming to return to where he belongs, in the champions league groups, Olympiacos is giving tonight his first game with Czech Victoria Pilsen. That's what they say. That Olympiacos has historically had every right to claim qualification in Europe's leading football organization.

Unfortunately for Olympiacos and Greek football things are not so. No Greek team can be described as "European". What does a 'European' team really mean? No, of course, because it is simply participating in European cups, as are dozens of other teams from the 55 countries of the continent.

It is the European team that systematically stands out in the champions league. Even in the europa league. And distinction means at least qualifying for the "8" of the event.

From 1955 Olympiacos never managed to get to the quarter-finals. Even in the season that he had consistently played for nearly two decades straight in the champions league, not because of value and compared to other teams, but because he was taking the Greek championship.

Nor is the Panathinaikos a European team, which once, once forgotten, once reached the finals of the then European Championships.

Olympiacos is the team with the most titles in Greece, but it remains ... a Greek team. Because it has not yet evolved into a truly European size.

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