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Georgios Samaras ( ; born 21 February 1985 in Heraklionmarker) is a Greekmarker footballer who plays as a striker for Scottish Premier League side Celtic and also for the Greece national team.

Club career


Samaras moved to the Netherlandsmarker together with his father (ex-professional footballer Ioannis Samaras) at the age of 16, signing for Heerenveen. He made his first team debut in the 2003–04 season, starting a total of ten matches. This was followed by another successful two seasons in the Dutch top flight before some Premier League clubs started showing interest in the striker. After interest from teams like Arsenal, he joined Manchester City for a fee that was close to £6 million.

Manchester City

His Manchester City debut came in as a substitute against Newcastle United, and he scored his first goal in English football on 12 February 2006 in a 3–2 victory over Charlton Athletic. Following a good start with Manchester City, Samaras had a lacklustre first season in the Premier League during 2006–07, scoring only 6 goals from 42 appearances (most of which were made as a substitute). The highlight of his season was scoring two late goals in a 2–1 victory over Everton. Although Samaras was criticised by some journalists for his lack of goals, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce (who rarely started the Greek), always maintained that he would develop in to a great striker, saying "Georgios is a 21-year-old playing in the Premier League for the first time in his life. He's a young man learning the game in the hardest league to learn".

Following the departure of Pearce, Samaras did not feature in the Premier League for Manchester City in the first two months of the 2007–08 season under new manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. Some reports claimed that he was on his way out following the signing of eight new players by the new City manager. However, Samaras refused to leave even after early interest from Middlesbrough, preferring to fight for his place in the Manchester City team. On 25 September 2007, Samaras got his first game of the 2007–08 season for City in the League Cup game against Norwich City. Samaras repaid the manager's faith in him by scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute. Samaras featured in a few more Premier League games following that, earning the his manager's praises for his work ethic, professionalism and willingness to fight for his place in the team. However transfer speculation continued from teams like Birmingham City.


Tranfer speculation surrounding Samaras continued and on 28 January 2008 the striker signed for Celtic on loan until the end of the season. It was confirmed that he would wear the number 9 jersey. 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 team in the UEFA Euro 2008 competition. Samaras scored on his debut for Celtic, coming on as a sub during a 5–1 Scottish Cup victory over Kilmarnock. His successful start continued with goals against Hibernian, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Gretna in his first few games. The season ended in triumph for Samaras with Celtic becoming SPL champions on the last day of the league, gaining Samaras his first Championship medal. In total he scored six goals for Celtic in 21 appearances during his loan spell.

On 15 July he signed permanently from Manchester City after agreeing a three-year contract with the Scottish club for an undisclosed fee of around £1.5m.Samaras scored his first two goals of the 2008-09 season against Falkirk on 23 August. Following some impressive performances, Samaras was named SPL Player of the Month for September. On 26 July 2009, he scored a wonder goal, running from just inside his own half before slotting home, in the 2-0 win against Tottenham in the Wembley Cup. He scored a brilliant goal which baffled the keeper in injury time against Dynamo Moscow in the Champions League knock-out stages - his first European goal - which led to Celtic's qualification for the Play-off round.

International career

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

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. He featured in Greece's Euro 2008 qualifiers and was a member of the unsuccessful Greek squad at the finals. Samaras' fourth international goal went on to be a crucial one, when he scored the winning goal in a World Cup 2010 qualifier against Israel in front of his hometown crowd in Heraklionmarker.

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 February 2006 Limassolmarker, Cyprusmarker 1–0 Win Friendly Match
2. 1 March 2006 Nicosiamarker, Cyprusmarker 0–2 Win Friendly Match
3. 11 October 2006 Zenicamarker, Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker 0–4 Win UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier
4. 1 April 2009 Heraklionmarker, Greecemarker 2–1 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier
5. 10 October 2009 Athensmarker, Greecemarker 5–2 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier


Last updated 5 April 2009

Season Club Nat Apps Goals
2002–03 SC Heerenveen 15 4
2003–04 SC Heerenveen 27 4
2004–05 SC Heerenveen 31 11
2005–06 SC Heerenveen 15 6
2005–06 Manchester City 14 4
2006–07 Manchester City 36 4
2007–08 Manchester City 5 0
2007–08 Celtic 16 5
2008–09 Celtic 31 15
2009–10 Celtic 11 3
Total 202 56



  1. Arsenal show interest in Samaras BBC article dated 11 January 2006
  2. Man City 2 - Everton 1 BBC article dated 1 January 2007
  3. City to sell players after new signings BBC article dated 7 August 2007
  4. Middlesbrough interested in Samaras article dated 30 August 2007
  5. Sven salutes Samaras effort Evening News article dated 23 October 2007
  6. McLeish rules out Samaras move Sky Sports Website
  7. Samaras signs for Celtic Celtic FC official website
  8. Samaras pens permanent deal Gregor Kyle, Celtic FC official website, Retrieved 3 October 2008
  9. Star who slipped the net Australian article dated 24 May 2006
  10. Greece owe it to Samaras on debut CNN 28 February 2006, Retrieved 3 October 2008

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