Liel Abada, one of Ange Postecoglou’s first signings since he took the reigns of Scottish giant Celtic FC, revealed that Greek Super League club Olympiacos FC were interested in him.
The Israeli international made the move to Glasgow after a £3.5million transfer deal from Maccabi Petah Tikva.
He also revealed it took him some time to get used to the intensity of Ange Postecoglou’s training sessions and the pace of the Scottish game.
Speaking to the Daily Record, he said: “It’s usually very difficult to integrate so quickly in a new team, but both the players and the staff gave me confidence from the first moment I arrived.
“I enjoy it very much here. At first, there were concerns about how I would get on with the language and lack of friends here, but Nir Bitton welcomed me and I immediately started to enjoy it.
“It’s not as simple as people think to move to a country at such a young age. It’s leaving family, friends, everything close to you.
“Fortunately, since I arrived, there are people who are with me – my girlfriend, my uncle, my agent, my sister, her husband and my father who came for a holiday.
“When I got to my first training session at Celtic it had a very high pace and I had a hard time. The level of training and the pace in training were at a very high level, but I slowly got used to it.
“Off the pitch, I am doing language lessons twice a week. Glasgow is very good. There’s everything here in terms of shops and restaurants. The only bad thing is that it is always cold here and it was also very difficult for me at first to drive on the left side of the road.
“The levels here are much higher than in Israel. At Celtic, the facilities are excellent.
“The fans here are amazing. It’s very exciting for me that they already have a song for me, I need to repay them for the welcome.
“My dad always taught me to work hard for things and I earned the right to move to a great club with a good contract. He’s taught me to keep my feet on the ground.
“There’s no chance of this going to my head because I earn large sums of money now. I always listen to him for his advice and I am not one who will be arrogant or go on a shopping trip because I suddenly signed a contract with Celtic.
“He worked from 5am to the evening to try to help me. When I told him I had signed for Celtic he cried down the phone! He is an amazing person and we have a special relationship. We can talk about anything.
“There were other clubs interested in me like Olympiacos and a club in the USA, but I had no regrets at all about signing for Celtic.”
And Abada, in an interview in his homeland, can’t wait to face Scotland next month for Israel in a World Cup qualifier.
He said: “It will be exciting to play an international game against some of my teammates. But all I am interested in is winning the game.
“We have a great team and we should win the game in Glasgow.
“I think I am improving all the time here. I need to get better in the air and physically too. The higher the level of football you play, the more physical it becomes and Scottish football is very fast and tough.
“I’ve been working hard in the gym too with the fitness trainer at the club. I am really happy with the way it has gone.”