Giorgos Giakoumakis reveals Celtic warning he got from Giorgos Samaras before joining – ‘don’t take it’

Giorgos Giakoumakis has revealed the warning he received before signing at Celtic over taking on the club’s number nine shirt.

Iconic forwards at Parkhead have worn the number including the likes of Chris Sutton and Pierre van Hoojidonk in recent years, going back to John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, Kenny Dalglish and Stevie Chalmers.

The Greek striker turned to his compatriot and experienced Parkhead forward Giorgos Samaras before his move on deadline day last year when he was told of the pressure associated with the task ahead.

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“When I called him when I was about to sign for Celtic he said, ‘don’t take number nine, it’s pretty heavy, this player had it before...’ and I asked who it was and he told me it was him!” he told the club’s Celtic View podcast.

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“I remember watching almost all the games when he played here and I knew he was number nine, he’s a bit of an icon here.”

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Giakoumakis instead inherited the number seven, which comes with it’s own dose of pressure and is no less iconic having been adorned by club legend and prolific goalscorer Henrik Larsson.

The former VVV-Venlo striker is attempting to make his own way as a modern-day club hero and did his cause on harm by scoring the title-clinching goal at Dundee United last season – one of the highlights of his first 12 months in Scotland.

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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)

He is looking forward to adding a few more to his tally this season after notching 17 goals last term, and to hearing the fans sign his name.

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Reflecting on his year he added: “It feels different now. I feel really important for this club and the fans sing for me every game. Its something I’ll always appreciate, I’ll always love it and remember and that’s one of the reasons I will try to give my best for the club and to score some goals because I have missed scoring and celebrating with them.

"I love it whenever they sing my song I enjoy it. I’ll always remember it.

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“When we are celebrating with my team-mates at the training centre they sometimes make fun of me and sing it on their own. It’s really nice.”

Number nine Chris Sutton was Celtic team-mates with Henrik Larsson (left)
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Giorgos Giakoumakis. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

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