“Celtic is the place where I’ve felt most at home in my career,” Samaras

Georgios Samaras has proved an insight into the mechanics of his move to Celtic back in the closing days of the January 2008 transfer window.

Big Sammi was a hugely popular player in his time at Celtic and it appears that our club has made a life-long impression on the Greek striker who even considers himself to be a little bit Scottish after his time wearing the Hoops.

Georgios Samaras of Celtic reacts towards Daniel Alves of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Celtic and FC Barcelona at Celtic Park on 1st October, 2013. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

He’d found the right club for me

“A couple of days before the end of the January transfer window in 2008, Alistair Mackintosh came to me and told me about what he thought was a really great move for me, away from Man City,” the Greek striker said, as reported by Daily Record.

 Joe Ledley celebrates with team-mate Georgios Samaras after scoring a goal during the Scottish Cup Final match between Celtic and Hibernian at Hampden on May 26, 2013. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“He said he’d found the right club for me, and Alistair was always one of the guys I could trust because I knew he always had my best interests at the front of his mind,” Samaras explained.

Phone conversation with Peter Lawwell

“I had a phone conversation with Peter Lawwell and Gordon Stachan. I liked what I heard from them, but I told them I needed to come to the club and just speak to them face-to-face.

Celtic’s Greek forward Georgios Samaras answers journalists’ questions on March 5, 2013 in Turin during a press conference on the eve of the Champions League match between Juventus and Celtic Glasgow. (Photo OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

“I drove from Manchester to Glasgow but because we were so late in the transfer window, we were conscious of the media surrounding the stadium, so I had to enter the building through a back door!

“Once I stepped out onto the pitch and saw the stadium, even though it was empty, I just said ‘oh, wow!’ You could just feel something there. Again, I had another talk with the club and that was it, I signed for them, initially on loan.

You need that trait to cope with the amount of pressure

“There are some huge personalities within that club, and you need that trait to cope with the amount of pressure that is put on you, from the fans and the media. Your motivation is there every day, to go and win trophies and play on those European nights.

“I knew I would develop every single day at that club and I’m so glad with how things went because I knew the move was right for me.

At Celtic, you’re playing for a club who are striving to win

“Celtic is the place where I’ve felt most at home in my career. Definitely. You have ups and downs, good and bad days wherever you go. But at Celtic, you’re playing for a club who are striving to win something every season, and that was the number one motivation for me; to be there and improve myself every day and help the team win trophies.

“Every day, at a club like that, you have to fight and prove that you’re good enough to be there.”

Peter Lawwell’s association with Man City

The Samaras signing was perhaps the beginning of the Peter Lawwell association with Manchester City producing results in the transfer market.  And Samaras’ comments about the pressure put onto the players by both the fans and the media is worth noting.

Samaras always seemed to come alive in the big games where he would often excel, yet in the more mundane fixtures supporters would be less than impressed with his demeanour, which looked like he wasn’t that interested.

That wasn’t the case of course and from his own words, looking back on his time at Celtic, you can see how committed he was to his football and the impact that Celtic had on him as a player.

What are your thoughts on big Samaras and his time at Celtic?

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