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Top facts about Georgios Samaras, Sammy

Wed 11 May 2022 | 13:30

Georgios Samaras, the Greek-born forward, had a great stint in Scotland, scoring 74 goals in 253 matches for Celtic and winning four league titles, two Scottish Cups and one League Cup. Read on to find out more facts about Georgios Samaras.

Georgios Samaras (born February 21, 1985) is a former professional footballer from Greece who played as a winger or striker. He is OFI Crete's vice–president.

Georgios Samaras’ age

is 37. Here, you can find the most important facts about Georgios Samaras, ex-Celtic striker.

Samaras fell out of favor with the first team when Sven-Göran Eriksson came over as manager. He was loaned out to Celtic of the Scottish Premier League in January 2008, and then signed a permanent deal in the summer.

Samaras scored 74 goals in 249 competitive games to help Celtic win the Scottish league titles in 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014. He departed the club at the conclusion of his contract in 2014 and joined West Bromwich Albion, where he played little and had a failed loan spell with Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.

He joined Rayo OKC, an NASL expansion club, in March 2016, and after they folded after one season, he signed with Real Zaragoza.

Despite being eligible to play for Australia since his father Ioannis Samaras was born in Melbourne, Samaras decided to represent

Greece

, his home nation.

He debuted in 2006 and was a regular for the following eight years, gaining 81 caps and scoring nine goals. At Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012, and the 2014 World Cup, he represented his nation.

Top facts about Georgios Samaras:

An important fact about Georgios Samaras is that he began his career at OFI Crete before joining Heerenveen in the Eredivisie in 2001. Two years later, he made his first team debut, and after three more seasons with the club, he transferred to Premier League club

Manchester City

for £6 million in 2006.

Georgios Samaras early life

Georgios Samaras was born in Heraklion, the Greek island of Crete's main city, to a Melbourne-born father who returned to Greece before Georgios was born.

Regarding

Georgios Samaras’ childhood

, it should be mentioned that Georgios, his grandpa, was a founding member of South Melbourne FC in Australia.

Marco van Basten was his favorite footballer when he was little. Speaking about

Georgios Samaras’ parents

, it is worth mentioning that he was also an avid basketball lover, and his father, Ioannis Samaras, would often allow him to stay up late watching his favorite

Michael Jordan

play.

Samaras joined OFI Crete, his childhood idols, when he was ten years old, in 1994. His father was a member of the team at the time and left in 1996. He became Academy chief manager six months later, a role he held until 2000, when he was promoted to manager.

Samaras owes a debt of gratitude to his father for launching his football career. Samaras trained every day of his youth thanks to his influence, and he also got to spend a lot of time behind the scenes at OFI. In 2001, Samaras moved to Heerenveen of the Eredivisie.

Georgios Samaras professional career

Georgios Samaras was once extensively chastised and even booed by City supporters, and Eriksson expressed his hope that it would not happen again, while also acknowledging that Samaras may had found it difficult to perform in such conditions.

Georgios Samaras club career

An important fact about Georgios Samaras is that he made his debut with Heerenveen in the 2002–03 season, when he was just 18 years old.

Heerenveen

In his first four appearances, he scored three goals, all of which came off the bench. Heerenveen used this form to trigger a three-year extension provision in his contract.

Samaras' first goal of the 2003–04 season came in a 2–1 defeat for Heerenveen against NEC Nijmegen on October 25.

Samaras scored in Heerenveen's 2–0 win against ADO Den Haag on December 3rd. His next goal came ten days later, when he equalized for Heerenveen in a 1–1 tie with RBC Roosendaal. On the 20th of December, he scored in a 2–1 win for Heerenveen against Roda JC.

Samaras' first goal of the 2004–05 season came in a 2–0 victory against De Graafschap on September 11th. On the 3rd of October, he scored a last-minute winner to give Heerenveen all three points against ADO Den Haag.

On November 28, Samaras scored one of Heerenveen's goals in a 2–2 draw against

Feyenoord

, who were pursuing the league championship.

On the 22nd of January, he scored in a 2–1 win against Den Bosch for Heerenveen, who were having a great season in the Eredivisie.

An important

fact about Georgios Samaras

is that he scored an equalizer against RKC Waalwijk on March 12, but Heerenveen lost 2–1 as a result of a late goal.

Samaras scored the game-winning goal in Heerenveen's 2–1 win against Ajax on April 2. Heerenveen recovered from behind to defeat Vitesse Arnhem 3–1 a week later, with Samaras scoring the equalizer. With this victory, Heerenveen moved up to fifth place on the league.

In the next match, Samaras scored a hat-trick with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as relegation hopefuls RBC Roosendaal were thrashed 7–1 and Heerenveen battled for a European position.

Sevilla were said to be interested in Samaras as a replacement for Jlio Baptista at the start of the 2005–06 season.

While Arsenal was also interested in him after missing out on Baptista, several news outlets claimed that Arsenal had already signed Samaras and that he would join at the conclusion of the season.

The player's father, Ioannis Samaras, however, denied this and said that his son intended to continue at the club for another year. Samaras scored on the season's first day, August 20, when he assisted Heerenveen to a 5–4 win against Roda JC.

In September, he had a slight leg injury that forced him to miss Heerenveen's UEFA Cup fixture against Bank Ostrava. On September 23, he returned to play, scoring in a 2–1 win for Heerenveen against NEC Nijmegen.

Heerenveen came back from a goal down to overcome Levski Sofia 2–1 in the UEFA Cup on December 14th. Samaras scored twice in Heerenveen's 4–2 win against

Ajax

on December 30.

Arsenal

and Manchester City expressed interest in signing the striker in January 2006.

After Heerenveen turned down a proposal from Manchester City, Samaras attempted to get out of his contract. The Dutch arbitration commission, on the other hand, found that he had no grounds to terminate his contract. In 88 appearances for Heerenveen, Samaras scored 25 goals.

Manchester City

An important fact about Georgios Samaras is that he joined Manchester City for £6 million on January 30, 2006, a world record for a Greek player. He was issued a shirt with the number 20 on it.

Samaras made his City debut on February 1st, coming in as a 65th-minute substitute for Cole in a 3–0 home triumph over Newcastle United.

His first goal for the club came against Charlton Athletic in the next home meeting. The following month, Samaras scored in a 2–1 home victory against Aston Villa to advance City to the League Cup quarter-finals.

In six appearances, he has scored four goals. That season, Samaras scored one more goal in a 2–1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite Samaras' first goal of the 2006–07 season coming on September 20, City lost 2–1 against League One club Chesterfield in the League Cup.

Samaras scored twice in Manchester City's 2–0 win against

West Ham United

four days later. City had only won three of their previous 16 games, and the club, as well as Samaras, had come under fire from supporters. Samaras came in as a half-time replacement on January 2nd and scored twice in a 2–1 win over Everton.

The Daily Mirror stated in March that the lack of talented attackers was the reason Manchester City was failing so poorly.

They went on to suggest that the £6 million spent on Samaras was "extremely awful business," particularly when contrasted to the £2.5 million spent on Benni McCarthy by Blackburn Rovers.

They also said Samaras seemed to be a "fish out of sea" as he failed to adjust to England's distinct style of play.

On March 10, defender Richard Dunne said that he believed City's poor performance was due to their foreign players, particularly Samaras, failing to work hard enough for the team.

In response to Pearce's complaints, Samaras said that he believed it was Pearce's responsibility that he wasn't performing well since the manager didn't provide him a regular game schedule.

An important

fact about Georgios Samaras

is that he also claimed that most of the criticism he received was due to his high transfer cost, claiming that it is common for expensive players to be chastised more than others when they don't perform well.

Samaras also said that he has been through rougher times in the past and that his confidence would not be shattered. He also stated that his ambition was to play in the Champions League.

For the 2007–08 season, Sven-Göran Eriksson took over from Pearce, and after a shopping binge, Samaras was apparently judged surplus to needs by the new manager.

Despite offers from all around Europe, Samaras' agent, Paul Koutsoliakos, stated his client wanted to remain in the Premier League and establish himself.

At the conclusion of the transfer window, Samaras was linked with a £2.5 million move to

Middlesbrough

, but he chose to remain at City.

Eriksson remarked that, although he was initially disappointed with Samaras, he thought the player had improved and altered his style of play significantly during pre-season, and that he now felt comfortable retaining him at the club.

Samaras was a long way behind Valeri Bojinov and Rolando Bianchi in the pecking order, and he was eventually called into the team for the first time on September 25, for a League Cup match against Norwich City.

He began the game and pushed Manchester City into the quarter-finals with a last-minute victory. Eriksson had resolved to sell Samaras, among others, by the time the January transfer market opened in order to generate finances for the team.

Birmingham City had been after him for weeks and had a £2.5 million bid approved, which met Manchester City's value of the player, but they dropped out with a week left in the transfer window.

Rangers, Middlesbrough, Espanyol, Bolton Wanderers, and Charlton Athletic were among the clubs interested in recruiting him, but he finally signed for Celtic.

During his two years with Manchester City, Samaras was unable to secure a regular spot in the first team. In 63 appearances for the Eastlands club, he scored 12 goals as a substitute.

Celtic

A notable fact about Georgios Samaras is that he completed a six-month loan contract with Celtic in the Scottish Premier League on January 29, 2008, with the club having the option to purchase him at the completion of his loan.

He said that he desired the transfer because he needed to be playing first-team football in order to be considered for the Greece Euro 2008 squad. He was also lured to Celtic because he would be able to participate in European competition on a regular basis.

Samaras was assigned the number 9 jersey and made his debut against Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup on February 4th. He came in as a replacement and scored the game's last goal.

He made his Champions League debut on February 20th, coming in as a substitute in Celtic's 3–2 loss to Barcelona. He scored the game-winning goal in Celtic's 2–1 victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle a week later, keeping the pressure on league leaders Rangers.

After coming in as a substitute, he scored in Celtic's next encounter, a 2–0 victory over Hibernian. Samaras' next goal came in a 3–0 victory against Gretna on March 23, when he came on as a substitute and completed the scoring.

A notable fact about Georgios Samaras is that he scored the game's lone goal as Celtic defeated Aberdeen 1–0 on April 19, moving to the top of the league for the first time in 2008.

The next month, on May 3, Samaras came in as a substitute and scored the game-winning goal. His goal handed

Celtic

a 2–1 win against Motherwell, maintaining Celtic's late championship push.

Celtic won the championship after defeating Dundee United 1–0 on the last day of the season, May 22. Samaras came in as a late substitution and received his first match winner's medal.

Samaras' involvement in the second part of the season was crucial to Celtic's championship ambitions, as he scored many crucial goals to keep Celtic's title dreams alive.

His signing was also credited with resurrecting Hesselink's Jan Vennegoor, who had been underperforming.

Samaras departed Manchester City on July 15, 2008, after a successful loan term, and signed a three-year deal with Celtic.

The sum was estimated to be between £1 million and £3 million, however it was not revealed. On August 23, Samaras scored his first goals of the 2008–09 season. Celtic defeated Falkirk 3–0 thanks to his two goals. He scored two more goals in Celtic's 4–2 win against Motherwell on September 13th.

He scored twice more in Celtic's following encounter, a 3–1 victory against Kilmarnock. He subsequently scored two more goals in Celtic's 4–0 win against Livingston to go to the League Cup quarter-finals.

He was voted SPL Player of the Month for September, and he was also the league's leading scorer with seven goals at the time.

Samaras injured his knee cartilage in mid-October and was anticipated to miss a month following a successful procedure. As a result, he was expected to miss important Champions League matches against

Manchester United

and Aalborg.

After missing seven games, he returned sooner than planned and was back in training on November 9th.  In November 12, Samaras made his comeback, coming on as a substitute in a 3–0 triumph over Kilmarnock.

He started against Aalborg on November 25th; however, he did not perform well and squandered many opportunities as Celtic lost 2–1. Celtic finished last in their group as a result of this defeat.

On the 4th of January, he scored twice against Dundee United for his first goals of the new year. However, this was not enough to win the match, which ended 2–2.

Despite not starting the League Cup Final owing to poor form, he came on as a substitute in Celtic's 2–0 victory against Rangers.

Samaras scored twice in Celtic's 4–0 win against Hamilton Academical on April 4th. Celtic were eliminated from the championship race on the last day of the season.

A notable fact about Georgios Samaras is that he scored 17 goals, 15 of which were scored in the SPL. After Kris Boyd and teammate Scott McDonald, he was the third highest scorer.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan stepped down at the conclusion of the season, and Tony Mowbray took his place.

Samaras scored in the Champions League third qualifying round meeting against Dynamo Moscow on August 5th in injury time. Celtic won the contest 2–1 on aggregate, and it was their first European away victory in six years thanks to this goal.

Celtic next drew Arsenal of the English Premier League, but lost 5–1 on aggregate and were therefore relegated to the Europa League. Samaras scored in Celtic's 3–2 victory against

Motherwell

on December 13, his fifth goal in the club's previous four games.

On December 19, he scored in Celtic's 2–1 loss to Hearts. Celtic now behind Rangers by four points as the festive season approaches. Samaras was mostly used out of position on the left side of midfield from February onwards.

Celtic had a bad season, which ended with a humiliating 2–0 defeat to lower-league Ross County in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

When the score was only 1–0 to County, Samaras missed a chance to equalize, and he was one of several players publicly chastised by caretaker manager Neil Lennon. Samaras scored 10 league goals and 12 in all competitions this season.

Samaras started the 2010–11 season on a high note, scoring his first goal in a Europa League contest against FC Utrecht, making it 2–0 and sending Celtic into the second leg with a lead.

He scored a hat-trick in a 6–0 League Cup triumph against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on September 22, 2010. The goals dried up after that, with Samaras failing to score again in 2010. On January 2, 2011, he scored the game-winning goal against Rangers at Ibrox.

He was chosen as a lone striker, and he scored both Celtic goals in a 2–0 win. He scored his first goal after latching on to a Joe Ledley cross and around Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor before shooting home from a wide angle.

His second came after he was awarded a penalty, which he scored to seal the win. Goal.com named him World Player of the Week for his performance in this game. Samaras began the next game, a Scottish Cup contest against Berwick Rangers, but was forced to leave after suffering a hamstring injury.

On February 20, Samaras played a key role in a 3–0 home win against Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, assisting on Gary Hooper's second goal and creating issues for the opponents throughout the game.

Samaras made his Celtic debut in a 2–1 Scottish Cup victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium on March 16. He signed a new agreement two days later that would keep him at Parkhead until the summer of 2014.

Celtic and Rangers drew 0–0 in the last Old Firm league match of the season on April 24, 2011, with Samaras missing a penalty shot late in the second half.

Rangers remained one point ahead of Celtic in the league after the draw, and despite Celtic's spectacular 4–0 victory against Motherwell in the last league game of the season (Samaras scored Celtic's second goal in that game), the Ibrox club went on to win the league by one point.

Samaras did, however, complete the season with a trophy, appearing in Celtic's 3–0 success against Motherwell in the Scottish Cup Final a week later.

Samaras debuted against Rennes in a Europa League match at Celtic Park on November 3, 2011. Celtic won 3–1, with Samaras contributing two assists. During the contest, he was praised for his high work rate and perseverance.

A notable

fact about Georgios Samaras

is that he subsequently began the following match in the SPL against Motherwell, setting up another goal for Anthony Stokes, and Celtic went on to win 2–1 after falling down 1–0. In a 5–0 triumph against St Mirren, Samaras scored his first goal of the 2011–12 season.

According to manager Neil Lennon, "He scored the goal for which we had been waiting a long time. His performance was outstanding. We just expect for consistency from him since he is a gifted player. He's shown what he's capable of when he's in full flow today. The others took a page out of his book."

After a strong showing in Celtic's 1–1 draw with Italian league leaders Udinese,

Palermo

, a fellow Serie A club, displayed interest in Samaras. In recent weeks, he had been playing as a left midfielder, and the Daily Record said that his strong form since his comeback had helped re-ignite Celtic's season.

On December 24, Samaras began as a striker for Celtic and scored twice in a 2–1 win against Kilmarnock.

Samaras scored his 50th Celtic goal in a 2–0 away win against HJK Helsinki in the Champions League third qualifying round second leg on August 8.

Samaras scored later in the match after assisting Kris Commons' initial goal in the Champions League play-off round first leg away at Helsingborgs on August 21.

In the Champions League group stage, he scored a stunning late winner in a 2–3 victory against Spartak Moscow.

With headed goals in 2–1 losses to

Barcelona

and

Benfica

, Samaras became the first player in Celtic history to score in five straight European away matches, adding to his goals against Spartak Moscow, Helsingborgs, and HJK Helsinki.

Samaras is also credited with assisting Hooper's first goal in Celtic's last game against Spartak at Parkhead, as well as earning the foul for the penalty that Commons scored to seal the victory needed that night. On Boxing Day 2012, Samaras scored an overhead kick in a 2–0 victory against Dundee.

In March 2013, Samaras came on as Aberdeen trailed Celtic 3–1 at Celtic Park, and his overhead kick made it 4–3 in the 94th minute, completing the comeback.

Samaras led Celtic on many occasions during the season, including the first league encounter against Aberdeen and the away leg of Celtic's last-16 Champions League game against Juventus.

Celtic won their second consecutive league championship and then beat Hibs 3–0 in the Scottish Cup Final, giving Samaras another trophy at the end of the season. Samaras did not start the game, but was substituted in the 76th minute to replace Kris Commons.

Samaras began the 2013–14 season with a goal in the Champions League second qualifying round against NIFL Premiership team Cliftonville and made it two goals in two meetings with a header in a 2–0 win in the return leg. Celtic won the tie on aggregate by a score of 5–0.

In the following round, Celtic eliminated Elfsborg, before facing Shakhter Karagandy in the final qualifying round. They came back from a 2–0 deficit in the first leg in Kazakhstan to win the return match at Parkhead.

Samaras scored early in the second half to square the game on aggregate, adding to Commons' goal shortly before halftime. James Forrest's last-minute goal sealed the aggregate victory and ensured the club's return to the group stages.

Samaras appeared in all six group games, but only scored once, in a 6–1 loss to Barcelona. He continued to play for Celtic in domestic games, but he was frequently used as a substitute.

On September 28, he scored a hat-trick in a 5–2 victory against Kilmarnock. After that, Samaras only scored three more league goals, including a penalty kick strike in his last appearance for the club on May 11, 2014, in a 3–1 victory at home against Dundee United.

Samaras stated the same day that Celtic would not offer him a new contract when his existing one expired at the end of the season, making him a free agent.

West Bromwich Albion

Samaras signed a two-year free transfer deal with

West Bromwich Albion

in the English Premier League on August 22, 2014.

He was unable to establish himself as a regular member of the club, and by January 2015, he had only made eight substitute appearances, all of which went without a goal.

Samaras joined Saudi club Al-Hilal on loan for the remainder of the season on February 5, 2015, with the option to sign him permanently at the completion of his loan period.

Eight days later, he faced Al-Ahli in the Saudi Crown Prince Cup Final, however despite scoring his first goal for his new club, they were defeated 2–1. On 10 March 2015, he scored his team's fourth goal in a 4–1 victory against Al-Jeel in the first round of the Kings Cup.

Samaras suffered a hip injury on March 20, 2015, the most serious injury of his career, which forced him to miss almost three months of action.

Samaras was unhappy with life in the Middle East, according to Greek newspaper SportDay, and did not want to continue his career at the Saudi club when his contract expired at the end of the season.

Sporting Lisbon, a Portuguese team, was said to be interested in signing him. Samaras' contract with West Brom was mutually ended on July 17, 2015.

Real Zaragoza and Rayo

Samaras was rumored to have accepted terms with Serie A club Sampdoria in August 2015, however the deal fell through due to the club's dissatisfaction with the findings of his physical.

Following that, he spent time in New York to recover from a back issue, and in November 2015, he was connected with a transfer to the New York Cosmos, however no deal was made.

On March 10, 2016, Samaras signed with Rayo OKC, an expansion club in the North American Soccer League.

He made his first appearance for the club on April 2nd, replacing Robbie Findley for the last 12 minutes of a goalless home tie against FC Edmonton.

On the 28th of May, he was the final of three players on the squad to be sent off in a 1–0 defeat to the Soccer Bowl champions, the Cosmos. Samaras' first goal for the club occurred in his ninth encounter, when he came in as a late replacement to seal a 3–0 victory over the same opponent at Miller Stadium on July 16.

When Rayo OKC folded after just one season, Samaras became a free agent in early 2017, and it was proposed that he join with

Real Zaragoza

in Spain. He was introduced in a press conference on February 8 and given the number 5 jersey.

Samsunspor

Samaras and TFF First League team Samsunspor reached an agreement on August 6, 2017. In a 4–2 away defeat against Ümraniyespor on December 24, he scored his first goal for the club, equalizing at the conclusion of the first half. It was his first goal since a 1–1 tie against the New York Cosmos on August 7, 2016.

Georgios Samaras international career

Samaras was eligible to represent Australia at the international level. Ioannis, his father, was born in Melbourne but migrated to Greece when he was 13 years old, where he had a great football career with OFI Crete, Panathinaikos, and the Greek national team.

His grandpa (also Georgios) was a founder member of South Melbourne Football Club. Samaras pondered playing for Australia but was never contacted by Football Federation Australia and instead decided to represent his own nation.

On 28 February 2006, a week after his 21st birthday, he made his Greece debut in a friendly match against Belarus, scoring the game's lone goal.

He played in Greece's Euro 2008 qualifiers and was a member of the unsuccessful Greek squad at the finals, making only one appearance in their first UEFA Euro 2008 Group D game against Sweden as a second-half substitute.

Samaras' fourth international goal came in front of his home fans in Heraklion, as he scored the game-winning goal in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against

Israel

.

On 10 October 2009, in a World Cup qualifier against Latvia, he scored his fifth international goal with an overhead kick in a 5–2 triumph.

In a World Cup Qualifying play-off against Ukraine, Samaras put up the lone goal of the match, passing to Dimitris Salpingidis, who slotted home to give Greece a 1–0 victory and a spot in the 2010 World Cup Finals. Georgios Samaras was named to the 23-man Greece World Cup team on June 1, 2010.

According to ESPN.com, he is Greece's second best player, after only talisman Giorgos Karagounis. He took part in each of the three group matches.

Despite a 2–1 win over Nigeria, Greece was unable to advance to the knockout stage after losing 2–0 to both South Korea and

Argentina

.

Samaras scored his sixth international goal in a friendly against Austria in Vienna on November 17, 2010, with Greece winning 2–1. Samaras was also responsible for Greece's second goal.

On 7 October 2011, Samaras scored a crucial goal for Greece against

Croatia

, volleying from the outside of the box with his left foot. Greece qualified for Euro 2012 as a result of the match, which ended 2–0.

At Euro 2012, Samaras appeared in all three of Greece's group games, helping the country finish second in Group A and advance to the quarter-finals.

He later participated in the quarter-final encounter against Germany, scoring early in the second half to square the game at 1–1, but Germany went on to win 4–2 and put Greece out of the competition.

Samaras has been included to Greece's World Cup roster for 2014. Samaras assisted Greece's first goal and scored the game-winning goal from a penalty kick in the 90th minute to give Greece a 2–1 victory against the Ivory Coast and qualify Greece for the World Cup's last 16 for the first time in the country's history.

Georgios Samaras social media

Regarding

Georgios Samaras social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@samaras_official

) with 488k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him along with his fans and family.

Georgios Samaras body measurements

Speaking about

Georgios Samaras body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 192cm and 82kg.

Georgios Samaras net worth and salary

Georgios Samaras' net worth

is estimated to be $18 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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