GEORGIOS SAMARAS is the player who sent Greece to the World Cup knockouts for the first time in 2014. A historic moment never forgotten by all Greek fans.
Georgios Samaras (Greek: Γεώργιος Σαμαράς, pronounced [ˈʝorɣos samaˈras], born 21 February 1985) is a Greek professional footballer who plays as a winger or striker for the Greece national team.Samaras started his career at OFI Crete, before moving on to Eredivisie side Heerenveen in 2001.
He made his first team debut two years later and after a further three seasons with the club he moved to Premier League club Manchester City for a fee of £6 million in 2006. After Sven-Göran Eriksson took over as manager Samaras fell out of favour with the first team.
In January 2008 he was loaned out to Scottish Premier League team Celtic, moving on a permanent basis in the summer.
Samaras helped Celtic win Scottish league championships in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014, totalling 74 goals in 249 competitive games. He left the club at the end of his contract in 2014 and returned to the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion, where he featured rarely and had an unsuccessful loan to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
In March 2016, he joined North American Soccer League expansion team Rayo OKC.
Although eligible to play for Australia, because his father Ioannis Samaras was born in Melbourne, Samaras chose to represent his country of birth, Greece.
He made his debut in 2006, and became a regular over the next eight years, earning 81 caps and scoring 9 goals. He represented his country at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.
Samaras was born on 21 February 1985 in Heraklion, the capital city of the Greek island of Crete. His favourite footballer growing up was Marco van Basten.
Samaras was also a keen basketball fan and his father, Ioannis Samaras, often let him stay up until the early hours of the morning so he could watch his hero Michael Jordan.
In 1994, when he was 10 years old, Samaras joined his boyhood heroes, OFI Crete. His father was playing for them at the time and then retired in 1996.
Six months later, he became Academy chief manager, a position he retained until 2000, when he became manager. Samaras credits his father highly with helping start his football career.
His influence meant that Samaras trained every day of his childhood and he also got to spend a lot of time behind the scenes at OFI.
Samaras left for Eredivisie club Heerenveen in 2001.
- Scottish Premier League (4): 2007–08, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Scottish Cup (2): 2010–11, 2012–13
- Scottish League Cup (1): 2008–09
- Saudi Crown Prince Cup: (Runner-up) 2014–15
- SPL Player of the Month: September 2008
- Celtic Supporters’ Player of the Year: 2012/13
- 2014 FIFA World Cup awards: Man of the match Greece vs Ivory Coast
- “Strachan and Samaras net awards”. BBC Sport. 3 October 2008. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
- Slevison, Andrew. “Samaras takes out Celtic Supporters’ award, Forster voted for by players”. tribal football. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- “Greece 2-1 Côte d’Ivoire”. FIFA. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
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