Celtic striker reveals brilliant shirt warning he received from ex-Parkhead hero Giorgos Samaras before joining

The Greek frontman disclosed the one condition that forced him into taking the Hoops No.7 jersey instead.

Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has revealed the brilliant reason behind his decision to choose the iconic number seven jersey.

The Greek international has donned the jersey previously worn by Parkhead greats such as Jimmy Johnstone and Henrik Larsson since he joined the Hoops last summer.

The 27-year-old was a revelation during the second half of last season after contributing an impressive 17 goals last season on route to helping his team mates secure the Scottish Premiership title and League Cup double.

Giorgos Giakoumakis (R) has revealed the Lennoxtown chants and Giorgos Samaras chat he has enjoyed since arriving from VVV Venlo. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Now Giakoumakis has broken his silence over the hilarious reason behind taking on the squad number.

The former VVV-Venlo frontman admits he had a conversation with former Celtic player and fellow countryman Giorgos Samaras before joining the club.

Advertisement

He stated: “When I called Samaras before I signed, he said, ‘Don’t take the No 9, it’s pretty heavy because of who wore it before’.

“I asked him who had it and he said, ‘Me!’. I remember watching the games when he was playing so I already knew that.

“I feel very good right now. I am settled and really happy playing for this jersey.”

Giakoumakis, who has yet to get off the mark for the new season, endured a difficult injury-blighed first few months at Celtic after finishing top scorer in the Eredivisie.

However, he quickly established himself as a key player for Ange Postecoglou’s side and was part of several imporant moments last season, including a hat-trick against Dundee in a 3-2 victory and his goal at Tannadice in which the Hoops were crowned champions.

Advertisement

It has been an eventful 12 months for Giakoumakis as he opened up on his favourite moment so far at the club, which involved summer arrival of Swiss keeper Benjamin Siegrist.

Speaking on the Celtic View podcast, he said: “I’ve had many positive memories from the goals I scored. The best moment was the goal at Dundee United, which settled the title. We enjoyed the trophy day as well.

“I told Benji, ‘You’re my favourite keeper, I scored the most against you!’. I joked we signed him to make me feel happy and comfortable.

“The overhead kick in the last game against Motherwell was my best goal as I was on the line to be top scorer. After that, I knew I had time to get a second one.”

Giakoumakis briefly returned home to Greece during pre-season to witness the birth of his daughter before returning to Glasgow to make substitute appearances in back-to-back wins over Aberdeen and Ross County as they look to defend the title.

Advertisement

He reckons there is a lot more to come this season after declaring admitting he feels right at home at Parkhead.

Giakoumakis added: “The energy we have in the training centre is really positive. We are happy with two wins to start.

“We have to keep going. The target is always to win, play our football, and make our fans happy and proud.

“Personally, it feels different from last year. I am really important for this club, and the fans make me realise it every week. It’s something I always appreciate and will always love.

“That’s one of the reasons I will try to do my best on the field for Celtic. I want to score some goals as I already miss celebrating with them.”