Georgios Samaras on why Celtic will always be 'special' to him

Georgios Samaras ended a six-year spell at Celtic over the summer, as he linked up with West Bromwich Albion, but Parkhead will always be 'special' to him.

A few eyebrows may have been raised when Celtic took the decision to bring Georgios Samaras to Parkhead in January 2008.

The Greece international forward initially joined on loan having struggled to justify a £6million price tag in the Premier League at Manchester City.

He was, however, to become something of a cult hero in Glasgow, with a permanent deal pushed through in the summer following his arrival.

Six productive years in Scotland were to follow, during which time Samaras made close to 250 appearances and netted 74 goals.

He graced the Champions League and won seven major honours, including four Scottish Premiership titles.

The 29-year-old walked away as a free agent in the summer of 2014, as he returned to England to link up with West Bromwich Albion, but he admits Celtic will forever hold a ‘special’ place in his heart.

Samaras said in the Daily Record: “I took my car from Manchester and drove to Glasgow.

“I didn’t go through the main reception, I went through another entrance. I had to walk through the stadium to get to the offices. As soon as I walked into the stadium and on to the pitch I knew this was my club. I thought, ‘Here I am’.

“I played 250 games, won leagues, cups, played in the Champions League, Europa League - it was a special time. Celtic are massive and I’m proud I was there for so long and helped them win so much.”

Samaras has yet to enjoy similar success with the Baggies.

He has endured his injury struggles at The Hawthorns and has now seen Alan Irvine, the man who signed him, relieved of his managerial duties.

The experienced frontman could be forgiven for wondering whether he made the right choice over the summer and may be cursing Celtic’s decision not to put fresh terms to him as his contract ran down.

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