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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Samaras hails great journey

Georgios Samaras believes Celtic's young players will learn from their UEFA Champions League experience this season after Juventus ended their campaign.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 00:14 Post Comment

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Goals on the night from Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella gave Juventus a 2-0 win, 5-0 on aggregate, but captain Samaras believes Celtic can look back on their overall campaign with pride.

"I would say that it was a great experience for all the lads," he told Sky Sports. "We're a young team with a lot of talent, and that's an experience we'll learn from.

"I think it was a great journey for everyone in the club, the players, the coaches, staff and supporters, they've enjoyed it from the first second to the last. Next year hopefully we'll be back in the Champions League."

The odds were always stacked against Celtic on the night but Samaras kept the result in perspective.

"We're playing against a great team in the round of 16, it's a big thing for us," he said.

"We tried to play attacking football, to press them high like we did in the first half and we had a couple of chances but we didn't take them.

"But I didn't see any negative things in the game. We keep the positive things and keep learning."

Celtic exceeded expectations by coming this far, and Samaras believes the memories of a campaign that included victory over Barcelona and a double against Spartak Moscow will stay with the club for a long time.

"We're trying really hard all together to be a successful team," he said.

"The highlights of this journey were the two games against Barcelona, the way we played, the heart we showed was something amazing, not only for the players but also the supporters and the club. We'll remember these games for many years."

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