Samaras: I'm still reeling from Celtic departure

GEORGIOS SAMARAS last night admitted he's still coming to terms with the end of his Celtic career.

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Sami is focusing on Greece no he has departed Paradise
Sami is focusing on Greece no he has departed Paradise

The striker was in agony as Greece lost their opening World Cup match 3-0 to Colombia.

But it was nothing compared to the pain the former Hoops star felt when he discovered he was being dumped by Celtic.

Sami insists he was not offered a new deal after completing six-and-a-half years at Parkhead.

But he is attempting to put thoughts of his future to the back of his mind for the duration of the World Cup finals where the 29-year-old is confident all is not lost, despite their first-match shock.

And, in Greece's remaining two group games - against Japan and Ivory oast - he believes they can bounce back.

Sami has the added incentive of being able to put himself in the shop window for any potential new employers. For now though the player who Neil Lennon claimed would have commanded a fee of around £4million had he still been under contract at the Hoops, is relaxed about his future.

Samaras said: "It's no problem. I am 100% focused on the national team, and when the World Cup is finished I'll see what my career options are.

"The only strange feeling, to be honest, is not being a Celtic player.

"I had seven great seasons in Glasgow and I grew up there, both as a person and as a player.

"But, in the end, a decision - which I didn't want - was taken by other people.

"Now I will look for something new, but only after this tournament is finished. This is enough for me just now.

"The World Cup is the World Cup. And, whether it's in Africa, South America, Asia or Europe, it's the greatest thing you can do with your national team."

Samaras did not attempt to hide the disappointment of losing their opening game on Saturday and added: "That wasn't what people expected.

"We have more to give at this tournament."

Meanwhile, Efe Ambrose plans to use the experience he has gained from Celtic's Champions League games to help boost Nigeria's World Cup hopes.

The defender's stock rose as he delivered powerful performances in the Hoops' Euro campaign.

But as he looked ahead to the Super Eagles Group F clash with Iraq today, he admitted it was vital not to give away cheap goals in the group games.

He said: "Experience has taught me that knockout games are mostly not about the best team, but about who does the right thing and commits less errors.

"But if you want to be termed the best you have to beat the best.

"Imagine if we hadn't beaten the Ivory Coast at the Nations Cup before lifting the trophy, some people would have said we were lucky to avoid them, but I still won't love to play Brazil though I won't mind them in the final."

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