Giorgos Giakoumakis blasts 'not so good' Scottish Premiership in Atlanta United unveiling

Giakoumakis didn't hold back on the Scottish Premiership.
Giakoumakis didn't hold back on the Scottish Premiership. / ANDY BUCHANAN/GettyImages

In his first interview as an Atlanta United player, new signing Giorgos Giakoumakis has blasted the standard in the Scottish Premiership while explaining his decision to move to MLS.

The 11-time Greece international brought a two-year spell at Celtic to an end this week, arriving in Atlanta as a Designated Player and replacement for iconic striker Josef Martinez - even taking the Venezuelan's No.7 jersey.

Giakoumakis certainly arrives with plenty of pedigree, winning titles in Greece and Scotland with AEK Athens and Celtic, while he netted 26 goals in 30 appearances for VVV-Venlo to win the 2020/21 Eredivisie Golden Boot award.

Clearly, Giakoumakis isn't someone afraid to speak his mind and at his unveiling as an Atlanta United player, he delivered a scathing review of the standard of soccer in Scotland while explaining his decision to make a move.

"At Celtic, it was a totally different style of play, the competition there is not so good. There are two clubs, and all the other clubs try to defend," Giakmoumakis said.

"Most of the opponents were trying to block us in their box, we were keeping possession and trying to create spaces, score in a different way.

"I think this league (MLS) is a bit more competitive, they all try to play, so I think I will [get] even more space in the back of their defense and create more problems.

"I like pressure, I work under pressure all the time. I'm hungry for goals, I think that's my fuel."

Replacing Martinez - who scored a club-record 111 goals in 158 games across all competitions and won MLS Cup, Campeones Cup, and US Open Cup titles in Atlanta - will be no easy task for Giakoumakis.

However, this isn't the first time he's been at a club where the No.7 shirt is so important that it borders on religious. At Celtic, the 28-year-old donned the same number, once worn by none other than Henrik Larsson.

"He’s the legend of the legends. So I respect it, but at the same time, I wanted that pressure, that motivation. And I think I did well," Giakoumakis said of Larsson, adding on Martinez: "I have to replace a great player."