With Euro 2020 fast drawing to a close and the nations hopes held high as they approach another semi-final and the possible elation for reaching a final for the first time since ’66 and possibly going on and winning the whole thing, or the entire nation wailing as the wait continues, a new documentary from Christopher Andre Marks “King Otto” arrives detailing the biggest underdog story in the history of the Euro’s. Greece’s unlikely win in 2004.
In the summer of 2004, audiences looked on in disbelief as the Greek National Football Team, a country that had never previously won a single match or even scored a goal in a major tournament, took down the giants of world football to become the unlikeliest of European Champions. The architect behind this unprecedented triumph was legendary German football coach ‘King’ Otto Rehhagel. After accomplishing every major success in Germany, he made the bold decision to leave all he knew behind and work in a foreign country with the underachieving Greek National Team. This is the story of how these two contrasting cultures came together to speak the same language and write a new chapter of Greek mythology.
For those whipped up into the whole celebration of football especially with Englands current run in this years event will really enjoy King Otto. While at times Andre Marks doesn’t delve as deep as you would like into the story, but there’s enough footage and talking heads to really paint a broad canvas of how on earth Greece managed to win, despite being given absolutely no hope.
The interviews with Otto Rehhagel himself are utterly fascinating, with him putting together the various pieces and his strategy of how he managed to win the trophy with one of the least talented (On paper) group of players, who resembled more the cast of a Police Academy movie than a national football team.
It moves swiftly through the tournament not dwelling too long on each match that Greece played (Probably because some of the grinding victory were bereft of any actual highlights other than the key goals they scored). It of course builds up the tension as it takes us to the final, where Greece are finally triumphant. What follows in the aftermath is some of the documentaries finest moments as you see what it means to an entire country, who a few weeks prior simply couldn’t give a fig about the team or were even aware there was a tournament going on.
Any football fan will really enjoy this as King Otto, shows what can happen when a little tactical nouse and a whole lot of belief can change the lives of an entire nation through sport. A majestic documentary that doesn’t waste a single second of it’s run time, with interviews with all the key people, who all look a little glassy eyed reminiscing on the huge achievement that the supposed whipping boys of Euro 04 made, with the vision of one single man ‘King’ Otto Rehhagel.
King Otto is available to buy now on DVD & Digital