The World Cup starting in Brazil today will see 32 countries battling it out for football's highest honour. New MEP Thodoris Zagorakis, a member of the EPP group, will be watching with special interest. As the captain of the Greek national team, he steered his country towards victory in the 2004 Euro cup. We talked to the retired professional football player to find out his take on this year's World Cup as well as his views on sports and how Parliament can make a difference.
What would be your dream team for the World Cup?
Goalkeeper: Thibault Courtois (Belgium)
Defenders: Philipp Lahm (Germany), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece), David Luiz (Brazil)
Midfielders: Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Ángel di María (Argentina)
Attackers: Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Edin Dzeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Who will win the World Cup?
I believe that Brazil is a big favourite. They are playing in their country and they have a good team and especially a good defence. Also, Germany has a particularly good team as it has had for the last three or four years.
You are now an MEP. What do you want to achieve here in the EP for sports in Europe?
We need to see how we can act to offer real help in sports. We need to tackle violence and racism, which nowadays is a scourge and also to invest in sports infrastructure.