“I’m a bit Scottish now,” admits Georgios Samaras

Oh Ah Samaras has been speaking about the trouble he had understanding the Scottish accent when he arrived at Celtic from Manchester City in the 2008 January transfer window. The Greek striker was blown away by seeing Celtic Park for the first time and he just knew that he had to sign for the club.

It was a decision he has never regretted making, however there was one early snag in his move – even though he could speak English he had trouble understanding what anyone was saying at Celtic, especially the Celtic manager Gordon Strachan!

“Understanding the accent was the biggest challenge at Celtic. I had no idea what Gordon Strachan was saying to me!” Georgios Samaras explained. 

Japanese footballer Koki Mizuno (L) attends a press conference with Celtic manager Gordon Strachan at Celtic Park on 1 February 2008.. (Photo BRIAN STEWART/AFP via Getty Images)

“I never felt like it was difficult for me to settle into life in Scotland, to be honest, because like usual, I just tried to keep myself to myself,” the Greek goalscorer said, as reported by Daily Record. “My focus was always on developing as a player and enjoying the peace when I wasn’t playing. The hardest thing for me, at first, was just understanding the accent!

“To be honest, in my first two weeks, I couldn’t understand a lot at all! The gaffer was Gordon Strachan, so it doesn’t get much more difficult than that in terms of the accent!

Celtic’s Greek striker Georgios Samaras takes part in a training session at Lennoxtown  (Photo Ian MacNicol/AFP via Getty Images)

“I remember in the first couple of days, he kept giving me this instruction, which just sounded like ‘Sammy, bull-oot, bull-oot!’. I had no idea what this ‘bull-oot’ meant so I just couldn’t understand what he was trying to say to me. Anyway, in my second or third game, we get into the dressing room and, again, he said to me, ‘Sammy, take the ball, hold the ball, bull-oot, let’s start from there’.

“So once the meeting had finished, I went to Gary Caldwell and just said ‘Gaz, err… what the hell! What’s bull-oot?!’ Gaz just started laughing and explained to me that the gaffer was saying ‘ball out’, which made a lot more sense to me!

Celtic’s Giorgios Samaras trains on September 17, 2013 at the San Siro Stadium on the eve of a Champions League Group H football match against AC Milan. (Photo GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

“I definitely needed some time to adapt and understand the accent, but I ended up sitting next to Scott Brown in the dressing room, so we started talking a lot. He was a great teammate, by the way, a great player.

“Every day we would talk and talk and that helped me slowly pick up more and more words and understand the accent, and in the end I started to use them myself. So I’m a bit Scottish now!”

Georgios Samaras celebrates after he scored the first goal during the Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on J2 anuary, 2011. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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Celtic supporters surround Georgios Samaras after he scored the first goal during the Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox on 2 January, 2011. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. RPM Celticfan on

    Off topic but does anyone else think that the Abc brigade gave us the Dundee game first hoping that we will face the same pitch problem’s as the Huns and our game against Dundee could be subject to a pitch inspection call off leaving us with a difficult fixture pileup , very cynical i know but also very possible , Hail hail .