Mens Team

Samaras: City are ready for UCL glory

Samaras: City are ready for UCL glory
Georgios Samaras believes City have served their apprenticeship in the Champions League after a decade of qualifying for Europe’s premier club competition.

Manchester City have reached the quarter-finals on four occasions and the semi-final once and former Blues striker Samaras, now Vice President of Greek Super League 1 side OFI Crete, believes lessons have been learned and enough experience has been accumulated.

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And City prepares to take on Olympiakos, our only Greek international to date says City are ready to kick on in the Champions League.

“The Club is going in the right direction with the players they have brought in over the last few years and under Pep’s leadership,” said Samaras who played for Man City between 2006 and 2008.

“The only thing needed is that extra detail to get into the semi-finals and then into the final - but City are learning and every year it is more experience and another lesson.


                        Samara playing for Manchester City
Samara playing for Manchester City

“Barcelona and Real Madrid know the competition well, whereas City have only been competing for 10 years and are trying to become one of these elite clubs.

Samaras made 67 starts for City, scoring 11 goals after joining from Dutch side Heerenveen for £6.5m.

He played under three different managers during his stay – Stuart Pearce, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Mark Hughes before moving to Celtic where he enjoyed seven successful years.

“When I came to City, I stayed three seasons and in that time we had three different coaches and three different boards – it was crazy for the players because they don’t feel comfortable and it is very unsettling,” he said.

“Each season I had a new manager, new owner with many new players in an players out,” he said.

“There was no philosophy or continuity – now, everything is different and there is a real philosophy and that goes from the ground staff to the owner – a football club is just not about players, it is about everybody, from the head to the toes.


                        Samaras made 67 starts for City, scoring 11 goals.
Samaras made 67 starts for City, scoring 11 goals.

“I never regret one moment of my time with City. I was very happy there and the people were very friendly with me – there were a lot of changes and I was just 20 when I arrived but playing for City lead me to eventually play for Celtic for seven years so those 10 years were great for me, playing in top leagues, Europe and the national team.

“Manchester is a great city and I had a good time there.

“If I were to compare how the club was in 2006 to today, it is completely different, but in a very good way.

“I’m just happy for the people at the club and the City fans because they deserve the best – they had a lot of times when things weren’t so good and now they deserve the time to enjoy these titles and to win many more.

“There are many more titles and things to achieve in the coming years for City and I am absolutely delighted for the fans and the club because, as I say, they deserve it.

“I still follow City and Celtic very closely and I have a strong emotional attachment to both clubs and wish them only good things.

“I think now, with this coach and this group of players, that City have what it takes to go that extra push.

“In my opinion, City have had a lot of bad luck in this competition and as long as everyone stays healthy and together, I think City will have a very, very good season.”

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