Boyd backs Samaras to take on German giants
By: Laura Brannan on 21 Jun, 2012 09:09
THE domestic season may still be over six weeks away, but Tom Boyd has been passing the summer days by watching Euro 2012, and he has been backing the Bhoys in the process.
Mikael Lustig’s Sweden dropped out of the tournament, despite beating France on Tuesday, but the former defender has been particularly impressed by Celtic’s Greek representative.
Georgios Samaras has played a massive role in his country’s success so far and as a result of their 1-0 win over Russia, they sealed second spot in Group A.
But progression beyond the quarter-finals will be no easy feat, as they prepare to take on Germany – one of the hotly tipped sides to lift the trophy.
Boyd knows the odds are slim on Greece repeating their magnificent achievements of 2004 when they won the tournament but he still hopes to see Samaras put on a show against the Germans on Friday.
He said: “That’s going to be a big test for him as they are a quality side and one of the favourites in the competition.
“They are a very talented team who have shown they have the ability to go on and win it but looking at Greece, well they have certainly impressed me.
“In terms of being able to qualify after their first game, especially in that first half-hour against Poland, I didn’t think it was going to happen. But they’ve come back and shown good form and, as Russia found out, they’re proving difficult to beat.
“They might not play the best football but they are a very well-organised side and that’s a great asset to have.”
As the last remaining Celt at the European Championships, Samaras’ long season was extended when his side qualified for the last eight. But after a well-earned break, Boyd hopes he will continue his run of form into next season.
“After the turn of the year Sami turned into one of our most consistent performers,” he continued. “He’s turning into the player we all knew he could be and it’s great to see him using the ability he has.
“He’s continued to do that in the Euros and now he faces Germany this week. It has been a long, demanding season for him but he will be able to deal with that and hopefully carry on where he left off after the break.”