FORMER Celtic hero Georgios Samaras is the new vice-president of his local club OFI Crete and has appointed his dad as sporting director.

And the 34-year-old, who retired last year, has revealed his time at Celtic was the best time of his career.

The ex-Greece forward spent seven years at Parkhead and since leaving in 2014, played for West Brom, AL-Hilal, Rayo OKC, Zaragoza and Samsunspor.

And he's determined to make Heraklion-based OFI Crete a success in his new role in the boardroom.

Samaras said: "I retired from football at 33 for two reasons. Firstly, my back has not been 100 per cent for many years and secondly I was working on this project with OFI Crete for two years.

"Crete is my home and my family live here. It's the only club that would have made me come back to Greece.

"The club was looking for investment and a new structure and we have a plan to bring this club back to the top.

"Our owner is a Greek-American and lives in the USA so he asked me to be vice-president. I deal with everything from the sports side of it to the economic side of the club.

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"My father Ioannis Samaras is the new sports director, but that's not unusual for me because my family has always been obsessed with football. It has always dominated our conversations.

"I trust him and he knows how to organise his side of the business. But when we are sitting at the dinner table at night, my mum and sister have to listen to all the fights!"

And Samaras has nothing but happy memories from his career at Celtic, where he won four league titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup.

He said: "I enjoyed my time at Manchester City, but I was then able to go to a magnificent club like Celtic.

"Basically, Celtic were the pinnacle of my football career. I spent seven years there and had a great deal of success.

"I felt very loved by everyone in Glasgow. It was a relationship of affection for both parties and for many years, which is something very nice.

"People called me an idol there, but the truth is that I do not like those words. It was a very happy time for me personally and professionally and I gave Celtic 100%.

"If I managed to add something to the history of Celtic, then great. If I didn't, then that's fine too.

"I still love the club and they will always be in my heart."

Samaras joined from Manchester City in 2008 and netted 71 goals in 243 games. He won 81 caps for Greece.