Georgios Samaras: 'Celtic are ready for Champions League football'

Georgios Samaras
© PA Photos
Celtic forward Georgios Samaras claims that his club are ready to qualify for the Champions League group stages for the first time since 2008.

Celtic forward Georgios Samaras has said that his club are ready to end their four-year absence from the Champions League proper.

The Hoops are currently in Sweden preparing for tonight's first leg final qualifying-round tie with Helsingborg.

"We are the same players and every month, every year, we are getting closer together and getting to know each other better so I think this is the moment to go to the highest level," said Samaras, 27.

"We want to play at the top level and the Champions League is the highest level in European football. Europa League is European football but we did that last year and I think we were a bit unlucky not to go through.

"But I think our team is more mature now and ready to go to the highest level. We want to raise the bar a bit higher and the aim is to be in the group stages of the Champions League."

Samaras's late strike during the 2-0 win over HJK Helsinkini earlier this month was the first goal that the Greek had scored in eight continental club matches.

Georgios Samaras
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