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Georgios Samaras (*)

Georgios Samaras
Personal information
Full name Georgios Samaras
Date of birth 21 February 1985 (1985-02-21) (age 25)
Place of birth Heraklion, Greece
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Striker/Winger
Club information
Current club Celtic
Number 9
Youth career
0000–2001 OFI Crete
2001–2003 Heerenveen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Heerenveen 84 (23)
2006–2008 Manchester City 53 (8)
2008 → Celtic (loan) 16 (5)
2008– Celtic 76 (27)
National team
2006– Greece 43 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the
domestic league only and correct as of 2 January 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2010

Georgios Samaras (Greek: Γιώργος Σαμαράς; born 21 February 1985 in Premiership, Greece)[1] is a Greek footballer who currently plays as a striker or winger for Scottish Premier League club Celtic and the Greece national team. He has represented his country in the World Cup and European Championships, while in his club career he has also played for Heerenveen and Manchester City.
Club career

Heerenveen

Georgios moved to the Netherlands together with his father Ioannis at the age of 16, signing for Heerenveen. He broke into the Heerenveen team during the 2003-04 season, scoring three goals in his first four substitute appearances.[2] This was followed by another successful two seasons in the Dutch top flight league. Samaras scored 22 goals in 82 appearances for Heerenveen.[3] In January 2006 Arsenal and Manchester City showed interest in signing the striker.[4][5]

Manchester City

The Greek international moved to Manchester City on 30 January 2006 for a fee of £6million, rising to £8million based on appearances.[6] He made his debut for City as a 65th minute replacement for Andrew Cole in a 3-0 home win over Newcastle United.[7] Samaras failed to get a regular place in the first team over the 2 years he was at the club. Mainly used as a substitute, Samaras scored 12 goals in 63 appearances for the Eastlands club.[3]

Celtic

On 29 January 2008, Samaras signed for Celtic on loan until the end of the season.[8] The Greek striker confirmed that as well as helping Celtic, one of the reasons he moved was in order to get more games so that he would be considered for the Greek national squad in the Euro 2008 competition.[9] Samaras scored on his debut for Celtic, coming on as a substitute during a 5-1 Scottish Cup victory over Kilmarnock with a solo run down the wing before cutting inside and finishing into the bottom left hand corner.[10] His successful start continued with goals against Inverness Caledonian Thistle,[11] Hibernian,[12] Gretna,[13] Aberdeen[14] and Motherwell,[15] which proved vital in Celtic's race to win the Scottish Premier League.[15] The season ended with Celtic winning the SPL title on the last day of the league season,[16] gaining Samaras his first Championship medal.[17] In total, he scored six goals in 20 appearances during his loan spell for Celtic.[3]

After his successful loan spell, Samaras was transferred from Manchester City on for an undisclosed fee on 15 July 2008 and he signed a three-year contract with Celtic.[18][19] Samaras scored his first two goals of the 2008-09 season against Falkirk on 23 August.[20] Following some impressive performances against Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Livingston, he was named SPL Player of the Month for September 2008.[21] Samaras was dropped from the team for the League Cup Final after some poor form,[22] but came off the bench to help his side defeat Rangers 2-0.[23] He finished the season with 17 goals to his name.[3]

On 5 August 2009, Samaras scored an injury time goal to win a Champions League third qualifying round tie against Dynamo Moscow.[24] His good form continued into Celtic's Europa League campaign.[25] At times Samaras played as in a midfield role or as a winger in the 2009-10 season.[26][27] He finished the season with 10 league goals and 12 in all competitions.[3]

Samaras started the 2010-11 season in good form scoring four goals in Celtic's pre-season fixtures.[28][29][30][31][32] He then scored his first competitive goal in a Europa League tie against FC Utrecht with a chest down and finish to make it 2-0, sending Celtic into the second leg with a lead.[33] On 22 September 2010, Samaras scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup.[34]

Samaras produced a match winning performance against Rangers on 2 January 2011.[35][36] He was selected as a lone striker[37] and scored both Celtic goals in a 2-0 victory at Ibrox.[38] His first goal came from latching onto a Joe Ledley pass before going around Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor and slotting home from a wide angle.[38][39] His second came from the penalty spot.[38] Samaras won the penalty himself and converted to secure the victory.[38] His efforts in this game won him the Goal.com World Player of the Week Award.[40] In the following game, a Scottish Cup tie against Berwick Rangers, Samaras again started but failed to last the 90 minutes after sustaining a hamstring injury.[41]

International career
Samaras playing for Greece

Samaras was eligible to play for Australia. His father, Ioannis Samaras was born in Melbourne, but moved to Greece at the age of 13 and had a successful career in football as a midfielder, playing for Panathinaikos, and the Greek national team.[42] His grandfather (also Georgios) was one of the founding members of South Melbourne.[43] Although technically eligible, the opportunity to play for Australia was never pursued as Samaras chose to play for the country of his birth.

He made his debut for Greece just a week after his 21st birthday, on 28 February 2006 in a friendly game against Belarus, in which he scored the only goal of the game.[44] He featured in Greece's Euro 2008 qualifiers and was a member of the unsuccessful Greek squad at the finals.[42] Samaras' fourth international goal was a crucial one, when he scored the winning goal in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Israel in front of his hometown crowd in Heraklion.[45] He scored his fifth international goal with a overhead kick in a World Cup qualifier on 10 October 2009, against Latvia in a 5-2 victory.[46]

Samaras also played against Ukraine in a World Cup Qualifying play-off, setting up the only goal of the tie, passing to Dimitris Salpigidis who slotted home to give Greece a 1-0 win and a place in the 2010 World Cup Finals.[47][48]

On 1 June 2010, Georgios Samaras was selected in the 23 man Greece squad for the World Cup.[49] He played in all three group matches.[42] Despite Greece's 2-1 win over Nigeria, they failed to proceed to the knockout stage of the World Cup, due to 2-0 losses to both South Korea and Argentina.[50]

On 17 November 2010, Samaras scored his sixth International goal in a friendly against Austria in Vienna with Greece winning the match 2-1.[51] Samaras also set up Greece's second goal.[51]

As of January 2011, Samaras has 43 international caps and scored six goals.[52]

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 28 February 2006 Limassol, Cyprus  Belarus 1-0 1–0 Friendly
2 1 March 2006 Nicosia, Cyprus  Kazakhstan 0–2 0–2 Friendly
3 11 October 2006 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 0–4 Euro 2008 Qualification
4 1 April 2009 Heraklion, Greece  Israel 2-1 2–1 2010 World Cup Qualification
5 10 October 2009 Athens, Greece  Latvia 4-2 5–2 2010 World Cup Qualification
6 17 November 2010 Vienna, Austria  Austria 0-1 1–2 Friendly

Club statistics
This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2011)

As of 9 January 2011

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Heerenveen 2002-03 14 3 ? 0 0 0 - - - 0 0 0 14 3 ?
2003-04 27 4 ? 0 0 0 - - - 0 0 0 27 4 ?
2004-05 29 11 ? 0 0 0 - - - 7 0 ? 36 11 ?
2005-06 14 5 ? 0 0 0 - - - 4 1 ? 18 6 ?
Total 84 23 ? 0 0 0 - - - 11 1 ? 95 24 ?
Manchester City 2005-06 14 4 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 5 5
2006-07 36 4 6 5 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 42 6 8
2007-08 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 5 1 1
Total 53 8 12 7 2 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 63 12 14
Celtic 2007-08 16 5 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 20 6 5
2008-09 31 15 8 3 0 0 3 2 2 4 0 0 41 17 10
2009-10 32 10 6 4 0 1 1 0 0 9 3 1 46 13 8
2010-11 13 2 5 1 0 0 2 3 0 3 1 1 19 6 6
Total 92 32 22 10 1 1 6 5 2 18 4 3 126 42 29
Career total 229 63 34 17 3 3 9 7 2 29 5 3 284 78 43

Honours

Club

Celtic

* Scottish Premier League (1): 2007-08
* Scottish League Cup (1): 2008-09

Individual

Celtic

* SPL Player of the Month (1): September 2008

References

1. ^ Player Profile - Georgios Samaras Sporting Life, 2008
2. ^ Heerenveen braced for Samaras loss UEFA.com, 28 January 2006
3. ^ a b c d e Georgios Samaras ESPN Soccernet
4. ^ Arsenal show interest in Samaras BBC Sport, 11 January 2006
5. ^ Man City target may go on strike BBC Sport, 27 January 2006
6. ^ Samaras seals £6m Man City switch BBC Sport, 30 January 2006
7. ^ Man City 3-0 Newcastle BBC Sport, 1 February 2006
8. ^ Samaras joins Celtic on loan from Man City Telegraph, 29 January 2008
9. ^ Celtic make double signing swoop BBC Sport, 29 January 2008
10. ^ Kilmarnock 1 - 5 Celtic HeraldScotland, 4 February 2008
11. ^ Celtic 2-1 Inverness CT BBC Sport, 27 February 2008
12. ^ Hibernian 0-2 Celtic BBC Sport, 1 March 2008
13. ^ Gretna 0-3 Celtic BBC Sport, 23 March 2008
14. ^ Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen BBC Sport, 19 April 2008
15. ^ a b Motherwell 1-2 Celtic BBC Sport, 3 May 2008
16. ^ Celtic win third successive SPL title Telegraph, 22 May 2008
17. ^ Striker Samaras waiting on confusion at City as he seeks to seal Celtic move Mail Online, 28 May 2008
18. ^ Samaras leaves City to complete Celtic switch guardian.co.uk, 15 July 2008
19. ^ Celtic sign Samaras from Man City HeraldScotland, 15 July 2008
20. ^ Celtic 3-0 Falkirk BBC Sport, 23 August 2008
21. ^ Strachan and Samaras net awards BBC Sport, 3 October 2008
22. ^ Celtic triumph over Rangers to win cup The Guardian, 15 March 2009
23. ^ Celtic 2-0 Rangers BBC Sport, 15 March 2009
24. ^ Graham Spiers Last-gasp Georgios Samaras goal sends Celtic through in Champions League Times Online, 6 August 2009
25. ^ Georgios Samaras’s form provides bright spot for Celtic amid European gloom Times Online, 7 November 2009
26. ^ Celtic 1 Hibernian 2 The Scottish Sun, 28 January 2010
27. ^ Celtic 0 - 2 Ross County BBC Sport, 10 April 2010
28. ^ Celtic could keep Georgios Samaras despite Hercules bid BBC Sport, 19 July 2010
29. ^ Manchester United 3 Celtic 1 Telegraph, 17 July 2010
30. ^ Seattle Sounders 1 Celtic 2: Red card ruins the spectacle in Seattle Mail Online, 19 July 2010
31. ^ Celtic end tour with win Sky Sports, 22 July 2010
32. ^ Celtic 2 Lyon 2: Dramatic late fightback lifts boss Lennon after Brown blow Mail Online, 31 July 2010
33. ^ Dynamic Celtic sink Utrecht Yahoo!/Eurosport, 19 August 2010
34. ^ Craig Swan Celtic boss Neil Lennon hails hat-trick hero Georgios Samaras as Caley Thistle are given six of the best Daily Record, 23 September 2010
35. ^ Samaras brace seals Ibrox win Sky Sports, 2 January 2011
36. ^ Ibrox bean counters are Smith's biggest foe STV Sport, 8 January 2011
37. ^ Strachan backed Georgios Samaras to star - Neil Lennon BBC Sport, 2 January 2011
38. ^ a b c d Rangers 0 - 2 Celtic BBC Sport, 2 January 2011
39. ^ Rangers 0 - 2 Celtic: Samaras brace sinks Gers The Scotsman, 2 January 2011
40. ^ Goal.com World Player of the Week: Georgios Samaras - Celtic Goal.com, 3 January 2011
41. ^ Neil Lennon proud of team's character The Scotsman, 10 January 2011
42. ^ a b c Georgios SAMARAS FIFA.com
43. ^ Star who slipped the net The Age, 24 May 2006
44. ^ Greece owe it to Samaras on debut CNN 28 February 2006, Retrieved 3 October 2008
45. ^ Greece beats Israel 2-1 in WCup qualifier USAToday.com, 1 April 2009
46. ^ Four-goal haul for Gekas sends Greece second ESPN Soccernet, 10 October 2009
47. ^ Ukraine 0 Greece 1: Dimitrios Salpingidis fires former European champions into World Cup finals Mail Online, 18 November 2009
48. ^ Ukraine 0-1 Greece (0-1 Agg) RTÉ Sport, 18 November 2009
49. ^ World Cup 2010: Greece boss Otto Rehhagel names squad BBC Sport, 1 June 2010
50. ^ Samaras laments exit, backs Argentina ESPN Soccernet, 23 June 2010
51. ^ a b Samaras inspires Greece to fortuitous win in Austria Reuters, 17 November 2010
52. ^ Georgios Samaras TransferMarkt

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