The coach who took Greece to its first European and World soccer championships, Alketas Panagoulias, has died at the age of 78 at his home in Virginia, USA.

Panagoulias, who began his coaching career in the US, guided Greece to the European Championships in Italy in 1980 and the World Cup in the USA in 1994.

In 1980, Greece put up a strong showing, losing narrowly to the Netherlands, 3-1 to Czechoslovakia and drawing with West Germany.

In 1994, the national side had a disastrous tournament, losing 4-0 to Argentina and Bulgaria and 2-0 to Nigeria.

Thessaloniki-born Panagoulias also coached the US national team and its Olympics squad.

In Greece, he led Olympiakos to three league titles and managed Aris and Iraklis.