Gheorghe Hagi
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Gheorghe Hagi

Gheorghe Hagi
Lansarea candidaturii Gabrielei Szabo pentru Camera Deputatilor, Voluntari - 04.05 (48) (14270956179) (cropped).jpg
Hagi in 2018
Personal information
Date of birth (1965-02-05) 5 February 1965 (age 55)
Place of birth S?cele, Romania
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1975-1980 Farul Constan?a
1980-1981 Luceaf?rul Bucure?ti
1981-1982 Farul Constan?a
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982-1983 Farul Constan?a 18 (7)
1983-1987 Sportul Studen?esc 108 (58)
1987-1990 Steaua Bucure?ti 97 (76)
1990-1992 Real Madrid 64 (16)
1992-1994 Brescia 61 (14)
1994-1996 Barcelona 36 (7)
1996-2001 Galatasaray 132 (59)
Total 516 (237)
National team
1983-2000 Romania 124[a] (35)
Teams managed
2001 Romania
2003-2004 Bursaspor
2004-2005 Galatasaray
2005-2006 Politehnica Timi?oara
2007-2008 Steaua Bucure?ti
2010-2011 Galatasaray
2014-2020 Viitorul Constan?a
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Gheorghe Hagi (Romanian pronunciation: ['?e?or?e 'had] ; born 5 February 1965) is a Romanian football manager and former professional player, who played as an attacking midfielder. He is currently the owner and manager of Romanian club Viitorul Constan?a. Hagi was considered one of the best players in the world during the 1980s and '90s,[2] and is regarded by many as the greatest Romanian footballer of all time.[3][4] Fans of Turkish club Galatasaray, with whom Hagi ended his career, called him "Comandante" ("The Commander"), while he was known as "Regele" ("The King") to Romanian supporters.[5] Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", he was a creative advanced playmaker renowned for his dribbling, technique, vision, passing and shooting.[5][6][7]

After starting his playing career in Romania, with Farul Constan?a, and subsequently featuring for Sportul Studen?esc and Steaua Bucure?ti, he later also had spells in Spain with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, Italy with Brescia, and Turkey, with Galatasaray; as such, Hagi is one of the few footballers to have played for both Spanish rival clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona. Throughout his club career, he won numerous titles while playing in four different countries: he won three Romanian League titles, two Cupa României titles, and the European Super Cup with Steaua Bucure?ti - also reaching the final of the 1988-89 European Cup -, a Supercopa de España title with Real Madrid, the Anglo-Italian Cup with Brescia, another Supercopa de España title with Barcelona, and four Süper Lig titles, two Turkish Cups, two Turkish Super Cups, the UEFA Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup with Galatasaray.

At international level, Hagi played for the Romanian national team in three FIFA World Cups, in 1990, 1994 (where he was named in the World Cup All-Star Team after helping his nation to the quarter-finals of the tournament) and 1998; as well as in three UEFA European Championships, in 1984, 1996 and 2000. He won a total of 124 caps for Romania between 1983 and 2000,[a] making him the second-most capped Romanian player of all time, behind only Dorinel Munteanu; he is also the joint all-time leading goalscorer of the Romanian national side (alongside Adrian Mutu) with 35 goals.

Hagi is considered a hero both in his homeland and in Turkey. He was named Romanian Footballer of the Year a record seven times, and is regarded as one of the best football players of his generation.[8][9] In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, Hagi was selected as the Golden Player of Romania by the Romanian Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.[10] In 2004, he was named by Pelé as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony.[11] In 1999, he was ranked at number 25 in World Soccer Magazines list of the 100 greatest players of the 20th century.[9]

Following his retirement in 2001, Hagi pursued a managerial career, coaching the Romanian national team, as well as clubs in both Romania and Turkey, namely Bursaspor, Galatasaray, Politehnica Timi?oara, FCSB, and Viitorul Constan?a. In 2009, he founded Romanian club Viitorul Constan?a, which he has coached since 2014; he is currently both the owner and the manager of the club. Hagi also established the Gheorghe Hagi Football Academy, one of the largest football academies in Southeastern Europe.[12]

Club career

Hagi started his career playing for the youth teams of Farul Constan?a in the 1970s, before being selected by the Romanian Football Federation to join the squad of Luceaf?rul Bucure?ti in 1980, where he remained for two years. In 1982, he returned to Constan?a, but one year later, aged 18, he was prepared to make the step up to play for a top team. He was originally directed to Universitatea Craiova, but chose Sportul Studen?esc of Bucharest instead.[13][14]

In late 1986, Hagi transferred to Steaua Bucure?ti as the team prepared for the European Super Cup final against Dynamo Kyiv. The original contract was for a one-game loan only, the final.[13] However, after winning the trophy, in which Hagi scored the only goal of the match from a free kick,[15] Steaua did not want to release him back to Sportul Studen?esc and retained him. During his Steaua years (1987-1990), Hagi played 97 Liga I games, scoring 76 goals, and netted 98 goals in total in 107 appearances for the club across all competitions.[13][14][7] With the club, he reached the European Cup semi-final in 1988, and the final in the following year,[16] while Hagi finished as one of the competition's top scorers in the former edition of the tournament.[17] Hagi also won three consecutive league and Cup doubles with Steaua between 1987 and 1989.[5][18] His strong performances had him linked with Arrigo Sacchi's Milan, fellow Serie A club Juventus, and German side Bayern Munich, but Nicolae Ceau?escu's communist government rejected any offer.[13]

After impressing at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Hagi was signed by Spanish club Real Madrid on 27 June that same year; the La Liga side paid $3.5 million to Steaua Bucure?ti in order to acquire him.[5][19][20][21] Hagi played two seasons with Real Madrid, which were largely unsuccessful, scoring 20 goals in 84 games, and only winning the Supercopa de España; some of his most memorable performances for the club included a hat-trick in a 5-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, on match-day 22 of the 1991-92 season, and a 40-yard lob against Osasuna during the same campaign.[5][19][22][23] He was subsequently sold to Italian side Brescia for 8 billion lira in 1992.[5][22][24]

Hagi began the 1992-93 season with Brescia in Serie A, but after his first season, the club was relegated to Serie B.[5][22][24] The following season, Hagi helped the club win the Anglo-Italian Cup, with Brescia defeating Notts County 1-0 in the final at Wembley, and also helped the team finish third in Serie B and earn promotion back to Serie A.[22][24] After performing memorably during the 1994 World Cup, Hagi returned to Spain, and was signed by defending La Liga champions Barcelona for £2 million, where he immediately won his second Supercopa de España title; however, he later struggled to gain playing time at the club under manager Johan Cruyff.[5][22][25]

After two years at Barça, Hagi signed for Turkish club Galatasaray in 1996, at the age of 31.[5] He had been the subject of a competing transfer offer from São Paulo FC.[26] Although in the twilight of his career, at Galatasaray, he was extremely successful, and became highly popular among the Turkish supporters, due to his excellent performances for the club. Hagi was an important member of the Galatasaray team that went on to win four consecutive league titles between 1996 and 2000. In 2000, at age 35, Hagi had one of the best seasons of his career, winning every possible major title with Galatasaray that season.[5] Most significantly, Hagi captained the club to win the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup after defeating Arsenal on penalties in the final, following a 0-0 draw; during the match, Hagi was sent off in extra-time for punching Arsenal captain Tony Adams.[27][28] Consequently, Galatasaray became the first Turkish club to win a UEFA club competition title.[27] The team's UEFA Cup triumph was immediately followed by the UEFA Super Cup title, with a historic 2-1 win against Hagi's former club Real Madrid in extra-time.[29] The mass hysteria caused by these wins in Istanbul raised Hagi's popularity with the fans even further, and prompted former France international Luis Fernández to say, "Hagi is like wine, the older it gets, the better it is."[5]

When he retired in 2001, Hagi was one of the most popular players in both Turkey and Romania.[5] Hagi drew praise from the Galatasaray supporters for his performances during his time with the club, who adopted the chant "I Love You Hagi" in his honour.[14]

International career

Hagi made his debut for the Romania national team in 1983, against Norway, in Oslo, at the age of 18.[5] He scored his first international goal against Northern Ireland in 1984.[7] The following year, he was made captain for the first time, in a World Cup qualifier against the same opponent.[13]

Although Romania failed to qualify for the 1986 World Cup,[7] Hagi later took part at the 1990 World Cup, where he helped the team reach the round of 16, before Republic of Ireland ended their run, after winning the resulting penalty shoot-out following a 0-0 draw, with Hagi netting Romania's first spot kick.[30] Four years later, he led the Romanian team to its best ever international performance at the 1994 World Cup, as they reached the quarter-finals, only to lose to Sweden in a penalty shoot-out once again.[5] Hagi scored three times in the tournament, including a memorable goal in their 3-2 surprise defeat of South American powerhouse and previous runners-up Argentina.[31] In the first of Romania's group stage matches, a 3-1 win against Colombia, Hagi provided two assists and scored one of the most memorable goals of the tournament, curling in a 40-yard lob over Colombian goalkeeper Óscar Córdoba who was caught out of position; the goal was later voted the fifth greatest World Cup goal in a FIFAworldcup.com poll.[5] Hagi was named in the Team of the Tournament for his performances.[32]

Four years later, he captained Romania at the 1998 World Cup; Hagi initially communicated that France '98 would be his final tournament. Romania topped their group, which featured England, Colombia, and Tunisia, and reached the round of 16, before being eliminated by Croatia.[5][7][33] After the tournament, Hagi retired from the national team, only to change his mind after a few months and participate in UEFA Euro 2000, during which he was sent off in the 2-0 quarter-final loss against eventual runners-up Italy; this was his final international appearance.[5][7][34][35]

Hagi retired from professional football in 2001, at the age of 36; that year, he was given a send-off in a testimonial game on 24 April, called "Gala Hagi," featuring a team of Romanian All-Stars against a team of international All-Stars.[36][37] At the time of his retirement, his 124 caps[a] for his country were a national record, which has since been surpassed by Dorinel Munteanu. He currently still holds the record of most goals scored for the Romanian national team, alongside Adrian Mutu, with 35.[5][7][38]

Career as coach

Romania national team

In 2001, Hagi was named the manager of the Romania national team, replacing Ladislau Bölöni, who left the squad to coach Sporting Clube de Portugal. After failing to qualify the team for the World Cup, however, Hagi was sacked. His only notable achievement during the six months as Romania's manager was the win in Budapest against Hungary.

Bursaspor

In 2003, Hagi took over as coach of Turkish Süper Lig side Bursaspor, but left the club after a disappointing start to the season.

Galatasaray

Hagi then became manager of Galatasaray in 2004, leading the team to the Turkish Cup in 2005 final with 5-1 as a score against fierce rivals Fenerbahçe. His contract, however, was not renewed since his team was not able to win 2004-05 Süper Lig title over Fenerbahçe during the centennial of the club.

Politehnica Timi?oara

Steaua Bucure?ti sought to hire Hagi in the summer of 2005, but Hagi's requested wage could not be met by the Romanian champions, and he became manager of Politehnica Timi?oara instead. However, after a string of poor results and disagreements with management, he left the club after a few months. Constan?a's main stadium used to bear his name, but the name was changed after Hagi signed with Politehnica Timi?oara.[39]

FCSB

From June to September 2007, Hagi coached FCSB, had a mediocre start in the internal championship mainly due to the large number of unavailable injured players, and managed to qualify the team for the second time in line to the UEFA Champions League group stages, passing two qualifying rounds. He resigned due to a long series of conflicts with club owner Gigi Becali, which also happens to be his godson. The main reason for resigning was the owner's policy of imposing players, making the team's strategy and threats. Hagi's resigned mere hours after FCSB's first Champions League match away against Slavia Prague, a 2-1 loss.

Galatasaray return

After Frank Rijkaard was sacked as coach, Hagi signed a one and a half-year contract with Galatasaray on 21 October 2010. His official presentation was held on 22 October.[40] His former teammate from Galatasaray Tugay Kerimo?lu assisted him in Istanbul, but he was sacked on 22 March 2011 after a series of poor results in the Süper Lig.

Viitorul Constan?a

In September 2014, Hagi appointed himself manager of Viitorul Constan?a, in addition to being the owner and chairman of the club. Successfully avoiding relegation in his first season, Viitorul went on to be the season's wonder in the 2015-16 season, finishing the first half of the regular season on 3rd place, which led Hagi to being named Romania Coach of the Year. Eventually, Viitorul finished the regular season on 4th place, earning their first play-off qualification. Viitorul finished the play-off on 5th place, but qualified for the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round due to Dinamo Bucure?ti's insolvency. In their first European match, Viitorul were defeated 0-5 by Gent at the Ghelamco Arena, and were eliminated after a 0-0 home draw.

Viitorul won their maiden league title, being 2016-17 Liga I champions after a 1-0 home victory over CFR Cluj; they finished the play-off with 44 points, same as FCSB, but on a better head-to-head record after a 3-1 home victory over FCSB. As a result, Hagi won his second Romania Coach of the Year award.

Style of play

A talented left-footed attacking midfielder, Hagi's playing style was frequently compared with Diego Maradona's throughout his career, due to his technical ability as well as his temperamental character and leadership;[7][23][41][42][43] as a youth, he was mainly inspired by compatriots Anghel Iord?nescu and Ion Dumitru.[7] A quick, highly creative, and mobile advanced playmaker, Hagi was also tactically versatile, and capable of playing in several midfield and offensive positions on either wing or through the middle, due to his ability with both feet, despite being naturally left-footed, although he had a preference for using his stronger foot; his preferred position was in a free role as a classic number 10, but he was also used as a second striker on occasion.[2][5][41][44][45][46][47] Hagi was renowned in particular for his first touch and speed on the ball, as well as his timing, interpretation of space, bursts of acceleration, and dribbling skills, which enabled him to get past defenders; he was also highly regarded for his vision and precise passing,[2][5][41][48] although he was capable of both scoring and assisting goals, and was also an accurate finisher and set-piece taker, who had a penchant for scoring goals from powerful, bending long range strikes.[2][5][7][41][44][49] Despite his small stature and slender build, Hagi possessed significant upper body strength, which, along with his control, aided him in protecting the ball from opponents, and allowed him to create space for himself or his teammates.[7][13][20][44] Despite his skill and his reputation as one of the greatest number 10s of his generation, his career was marked by inconsistency at times, and he was also considered to be a controversial player, due to his rebellious and arrogant attitude, as well as his low work-rate, aggression, unsportsmanlike behaviour, and lack of discipline, which led him to have several disagreements and confrontations with his managers, opponents, and officials.[7][13][20][22][46][50][51][52]

Personal life

His son Ianis Hagi, who is also a footballer, was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1998, when he was playing for Galatasaray SK.[53][54][55] Ianis currently plays for Scottish club Rangers. His daughter, Kira Hagi (born 1996), has started an acting career.

Career statistics

Club

Sources:[56][57][58][59][60]
Club Season League Cup Continental[b] Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Farul Constan?a 1982-83 Divizia A 18 7 - - 18 7
Sportul Studen?esc 1983-84 Divizia A 31 2 2 0 - 33 2
1984-85 30 20 2 0 - 32 20
1985-86 31 31 2 3 - 33 34
1986-87 16 5 4 1 - 20 6
Total 108 58 10 4 0 0 118 62
Steaua Bucure?ti 1986-87 Divizia A 14 10 1 1 - 15 11
1987-88 31 25 8 4 - 39 29
1988-89 30 31 9 6 - 39 37
1989-90 22 10 3 1 - 25 11
Total 97 76 21 12 0 0 118 88
Real Madrid 1990-91 La Liga 29 4 0 0 4 0 1[c] 0 34 4
1991-92 35 12 5 1 10 3 - 50 16
Total 64 16 5 1 14 3 1 0 84 20
Brescia 1992-93 Serie A 31 5 - - 31 5
1993-94 Serie B 30 9 - - 30 9
Total 61 14 -- -- 65 16
Barcelona 1994-95 La Liga 17 4 2 1 2 0 2[c] 0 23 5
1995-96 19 3 4 0 5 3 - 28 6
Total 36 7 6 1 7 3 2 0 51 11
Galatasaray 1996-97 Süper Lig 30 14 1 2 3 1 2[d] 0 36 17
1997-98 30 8 6 0 6 0 0 0 42 8
1998-99 28 14 4 1 8 3 - 40 18
1999-2000 19 12 3 1 15 4 - 37 17
2000-01 25 11 1 0 11 2 - 37 13
Total 132 59 15 4 43 10 2 0 192 73
Career total 516 237 47 14 95 32 5 0 663 283

International

Sources:[1][61]
Romania national team
Year Apps Goals
1983 5 0
1984 9 1
1985 10 4
1986 8 3
1987 8 2
1988 4 2
1989 8 0
1990 11 2
1991 6 2
1992 5 4
1993 5 1
1994 11 5
1995 3 1
1996 8 1
1997 6 4
1998 7 1
1999 4 2
2000 6 0
Total 124[a] 35

International goals

Scores and results list Romania's goal tally first

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 September 1984 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 1-1 2-3 FIFA World Cup 1986 Qualifying
2 30 January 1985 Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal  Portugal 3-2 3-2 Friendly
3 3 April 1985 Stadionul Central, Craiova, Romania  Turkey 1-0 3-0 FIFA World Cup 1986 Qualifying
4 6 June 1985 Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland  Finland 1-0 1-1 FIFA World Cup 1986 Qualifying
5 28 August 1985 Stadionul 1 Mai, Timi?oara, Romania  Finland 1-0 2-0 FIFA World Cup 1986 Qualifying
6 23 April 1986 Stadionul 1 Mai, Timi?oara, Romania  Soviet Union 1-0 2-1 Friendly
7 20 August 1986 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway  Norway 2-0 2-2 Friendly
8 10 September 1986 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Austria 4-0 4-1 UEFA Euro 1988 Qualifying
9 11 March 1987 Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece  Greece 1-1 1-1 Friendly
10 25 March 1987 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Albania 3-1 5-1 UEFA Euro 1988 Qualifying
11 20 September 1988 Stadionul 1 Mai, Constan?a, Romania  Albania 2-0 3-0 Friendly
12 2 November 1988 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Greece 2-0 3-0 FIFA World Cup 1990 Qualifying
13 3 August 1990 Stadion Allmend, Lucerne, Switzerland   Switzerland 1-0 1-2 Friendly
14 25 April 1990 Kiryat Eliezer Stadium, Haifa, Israel  Israel 2-0 4-1 Friendly
15 27 March 1991 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino 1-0 3-1 UEFA Euro 1992 Qualifying
16 16 October 1991 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Scotland 1-0 1-0 UEFA Euro 1992 Qualifying
17 6 May 1992 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Faroe Islands 2-0 7-0 FIFA World Cup 1994 Qualifying
18 20 May 1992 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Wales 1-0 5-1 FIFA World Cup 1994 Qualifying
19 20 May 1992 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Wales 5-0 5-1 FIFA World Cup 1994 Qualifying
20 29 November 1992 Neo GSZ Stadium, Larnaca, Cyprus  Cyprus 3-1 4-1 FIFA World Cup 1994 Qualifying
21 17 November 1993 Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales  Wales 1-0 2-1 FIFA World Cup 1994 Qualifying
22 14 June 1994 Trabuco Hills Stadium, Mission Viejo, United States  Sweden 1-1 1-1 Friendly
23 18 June 1994 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, United States  Colombia 2-0 3-1 World Cup 1994 Group A
24 22 June 1994 Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, United States   Switzerland 1-1 1-4 World Cup 1994 Group A
25 3 July 1994 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, United States  Argentina 3-1 3-2 World Cup 1994 Round of 16
26 12 November 1994 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Slovakia 2-0 3-2 UEFA Euro 1996 Qualifying
27 15 October 1995 V?e?portový areál, Ko?ice, Slovakia  Slovakia 1-0 2-0 UEFA Euro 1996 Qualifying
28 9 October 1996 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 2-0 4-0 World Cup 1998 Qualifying
29 29 March 1997 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Liechtenstein 4-0 8-0 World Cup 1998 Qualifying
30 10 September 1997 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Iceland 1-0 4-0 World Cup 1998 Qualifying
31 10 September 1997 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Iceland 4-0 4-0 World Cup 1998 Qualifying
32 11 October 1997 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  Republic of Ireland 1-0 1-1 World Cup 1998 Qualifying
33 3 June 1998 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Paraguay 3-2 3-2 Friendly
34 4 September 1999 Tehelné pole, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 2-1 5-1 UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying
35 8 September 1999 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Portugal 1-0 1-1 UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying

Managerial statistics

As of 1 August 2019
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Romania 2001 2001 4 1 2 1 025.00
Bursaspor 2003 2004 12 2 4 6 016.67
Galatasaray 2004 2005 47 32 6 9 068.09
Politehnica Timi?oara 2005 2006 16 5 4 7 031.25
FCSB 2007 2008 11 6 3 2 054.55
Galatasaray 2010 2011 24 8 6 10 033.33
Viitorul Constan?a 2014 present 204 103 35 66 050.49
Total 318 150 67 101 047.17

Honours

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d 125 appearances according to some sources, although, as of 2007, the FRF no longer recognises Romania's unofficial 3-1 friendly away win against the Ecuador U23 side on 22 January 1984[1]
  2. ^ Includes UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup (1986, 2000)
  3. ^ a b Appearance(s) in Supercopa
  4. ^ Appearances in Presidential Cup

References

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  4. ^ "Gheorghe Hagi". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Romania and Gala's commander and king". FIFA. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "Gheorghe HAGI". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2017.
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