Monday 19 February 2018

McGeady says abuse from fans the reason behind exit

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

AIDEN McGEADY has admitted that years of abuse from the terraces and on the street contributed to his decision to finally leave Scotland and join Spartak Moscow.

The Irish international (below) is going through the process of completing his £10m move to the Russian giants, with visa complications delaying the formal announcement.

And the 24-year-old has admitted that his decision to play his international football for the Republic of Ireland made living a normal life in Glasgow very difficult.

"If you are not a footballer, it's a great city to live in," he said of his home town. "But as a footballer, it can be a nightmare.

"When you are out, everybody either wants to shake your hand and praise you or they want to have a go at you. If you have a bad result, then even going to the shops is difficult.

"You are hiding your face as you go past a group of people because they will shout at you. Moscow is bigger and maybe I can disappear into it a wee bit.

"When I made my debut for Celtic there was a huge fuss made about it (declaring for Ireland). There are a lot of horrible places in Scotland for that type of thing: Tynecastle, Ibrox obviously is always going to be bad with the Celtic-Rangers rivalry, Motherwell, Falkirk.

"Some fans there hate everything Celtic stand for and everything I stand for as an Irish Catholic playing for Celtic. But you enjoy going to those places because it makes it even better when you win.

"It is unbelievable what some people shout. They would shout, 'I hate you' or 'I'm gonna kill you, wee man'.

"Glasgow really is a goldfish bowl and it's one of the things I'm glad to be getting away from. Neil Lennon said to me that I might miss the adulation Celtic players get, but I'm not so sure. My view is I need a break from it.

"I got into a few fights in the past and wish I hadn't. I let my guard down a few times and it cost me. But some of the verbal abuse I had to take was out of order."

McGeady has defended the football logic of moving to Russia, insisting that it can benefit his development as a player.

"Russian football is very strong and competitive," he said. "How many players have left the SPL for that kind of fee? I think going for Russia, to play for the biggest club in the country, will bring my game on."

Irish Independent

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