Celtic £4.5m flop admits disappointing Parkhead stint 'tested mental health'
The Greek stopper discussed his disappointing spell in Glasgow on a recent podcast back in his homeland.
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Vasilis Barkas has opened up on his Celtic struggles - admitting his mental health was "tested" during his ill-fated spell in Glasgow.
The Greek international stopper moved to Parkhead from AEK Athens in a £4.5million transfer during the height of the Covid pandemic. He found it difficult to nail down the No.1 position and was heavily criticised for a string of poor performances that hampered his progress under both Neil Lennon and Ange Postecoglou.
Barkas was eventually sold to Eredivisie side FC Utrecht after impressing during an initial loan spell last season and he gave an honest account of his stint at Parkhead on a recent podcast in his homeland.
He confessed to having no urge to turn up for training at Lennoxtown and how he quickly fell out of love with football. However, the 29-year-old reserved some praise for Postecoglou and his man-management skills.
"Of course. I try to forget that period at Celtic," Barkas admitted. "My family and I had a hard time. I was at a huge team, but in a difficult situation with Covid. Everything was difficult, the weather, everything. Now I have found the joy of playing football, I am happy, I enjoy it.
"I reached the bottom in Scotland and now I appreciate everything. I said to myself that I didn't want to have a hard time again football-wise and on a human level. I want to see my family happy, too.
"I was tested for my mental health, of course. We footballers are blessed because we are basically making our childhood game a profession and supporting our family from it because we get good money. But I got to the point then in Scotland where I treated it like a job.
"I was saying 'I don't want to go to training' and 'why is this happening to me?' I wasn't enjoying it. At some point, I said I had to set a goal to start enjoying it again. If you're not happy you can't perform. Despite everything, I had a good relationship with Ange Postecoglou.