It’s been six years since he left the club, but Georgios Samaras is well remembered by the Celtic support. The Greek striker/left midfielder played on 253 occasions for the club, scoring 74 goals and winning seven trophies.
Samaras reserved his best performances for the big occasions and was a useful outlet against stronger opposition in the UEFA Champions League. However, his finest match in a Celtic shirt came on 2 January 2011 – a day that is better known as ‘Samaras Sunday’. Celtic travelled to Ibrox in desperate need of a win that day and Samaras rose to the occasion by scoring a brace, which handed Celtic a 2-0 victory and put the Hoops four points clear at the top of the table, though Rangers had two games in hand. The result marked the first time that Celtic had won at Ibrox, in the new year fixture, in almost three decades!
Our favourite quote from the player is: “Memories are about winning games and trophies, not money, I love this club.”
Meanwhile, Neil Lennon epitomised the Jekyl & Hyde nature of the Greek’s performances, with the following comments at the club’s 2011 AGM: “He is our player. He definitely has attributes, but he is the sort of player that could get me the sack.”
Samaras turns 35 today, and I’m sure most Celtic fans wish him many happy returns.
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