Celtic’s Greek striker Georgios Samaras has praised former Aston Villa midfielder Stilian Petrov after the Bulgarian recently announced his retirement from football. Petrov has not played football for more than a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia. He has been undergoing treatment and there was a belief that he would make a return to football. However, the 33-year-old has decided to end his career considering his age and inability to return to full fitness. Petrov is known for his spell at Celtic where he spent seven seasons.
During his career, he scored 64 goals in 268 matches for the club. He moved to Aston Villa back in the summer of 2006 when the club was under the management of Martin O’Neill. Even after the departure of O’Neill, Petrov has been one of the important players at the club. He was the captain of the team before being diagnosed with leukaemia. Samaras has paid tribute to the former Celtic midfielder by saying that the whole squad is thinking about him.
He wants the best of health and happiness to Petrov, while he hopes that he recovers as soon as possible. Petrov has revealed his plans of setting up a charitable trust for cancer patients after admitting that he is extremely overwhelmed by the troubles faced by the affected people.
“It’s really hard to say something about this situation as sometimes you can’t find the right words to say about some things you feel. Myself, all the guys in the dressing room, and, of course, all the people at Celtic and the supporters, wish him all the best for this really difficult battle he is having. I just wish him and his family all the best, and hopefully he will win as he is a fighter,” said Samaras. Celtic manager Neil Lennon also paid his tribute as well.