Interactive/btn_arrow-green_report_exsmallInteractive/btn_arrow-green_reportButton/btn_arrow_lgInteractive/btn_arrow-red_report_exsmallInteractive/btn_arrow-red_smdesktop-icon-small-arrowicon-small-arrowicon-arrow 4Interactive/close-red_dCombined ShapeCombined ShapefacebookIcon/goalIcon: Informationicon: instagram video largeIcon/instagram_dIcon/listen-live_smicon-mobile-listen-livewatford-fcIcon/own_goalIcon/pdfplayLogo/premier-league_dIcon/red-card-smallIcon/red-cardPage 1snapchatIcon/spotify_dicon: substituteIcon/substitution_smIcon/twitter_dverified-accountIcon/yellow-card
hero
José Holebas on his decision to call time on his international career with Greece

Holebas | “The Right Time”

  
    

It will be an unfamiliar feeling for Jose Holebas, reporting for Hornets training at UCL during the international break.  

Five years, two major tournaments and 38 caps – not a bad record for the defender, who recently called time on an international career with Greece that only started at age 27.

Born in the German region of Bavaria, Holebas grew up with dreams of playing for Die Maanschaft, also holding eligibility for both Uruguay and Greece through his mother and father.

A move to Olympiacos in 2010 thrust him into the Hellenic limelight, and when called upon by then Greece manager Fernando Santos in 2011, Holebas proudly accepted the opportunity of international football with his paternal homeland. 
 

Holebas lines up for Greece against Poland at Euro 2012

Now, aged 32, Holebas says it’s right for his career that he should retire and concentrate on his role with the Golden Boys. 

“It was a personal decision for me,” he told Watford’s matchday programme The Hornet

“I just decided maybe now was the time to focus on my club. I had been with the national team for five years, playing every time with coaches coming and going, but I decided this was the right time to step back.

“It was a difficult decision. When you make a decision like this everyone looks at your age, but for me, age means nothing. 

“I’m totally fit and healthy and I think I can maybe play for another five years. It’s just that now I’m going to focus completely on my club career.”
 

Holebas dejected after Greece's penalty shootout defeat to Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Despite unerring confidence in his decision, Holebas goes to great lengths to note his pride in pulling on the blue and white shirt.

“I was proud to play for the national team, I was really proud to play for my country.” he explained.  

“Yes, you have to play more games and travel lots while other players who are not going to play for their national team are free to rest, but it’s a matter of being really proud of having the opportunity to play for your country - there’s always time to recover after.

“I played in the European Championships in 2012 and the World Cup in 2014, and I think they are the biggest competitions in the world that you can play in. 

“I’ve had so many good experiences playing for my national team, and I’m so pleased to have done this in my career.

“Now I have retired I will still follow the Greece national team very closely and I hope that they qualify for the next World Cup.”
 

    
  

Article - Native Ad 1

Article - HPU