Gheorghe Hagi, (born February 5, 1965 in Săcele, Constanţa),
is a Romanian former football player.
Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", or "The hunk with the
chunk", he is considered a hero in his homeland as well as in Turkey. He has
won his country's "Player of the Year" award a record six times, and was
recently named Romanian football player of the century.
He played for the Romanian national team in three World Cups in 1990,
1994 and 1998, as well as in three European Football Championships in 1984,
1996 and 2000. He won a total of 125 caps for Romania, being ranked second
after Dorinel Munteanu, and scored 35 goals, being ranked first.
In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the
Golden Player of Romania by the Romanian Football Federation as their most
outstanding player of the past 50 years. . Hagi is one of the few
footballers to have played for both the Spanish rival clubs Real Madrid and
In March 2004, he was named among the top 125 living footballers by Pelé.
He started his career playing for the youth teams of Farul Constanţa in
the 1970s, before being selected by the Romanian Football Federation to join
the squad of Luceafărul Bucureşti in 1980 for two years. In 1982 he returned
to Constanţa, but one year later, aged 18, he was prepared to make the step
to a top team. He was originally directed to Universitatea Craiova, but
chose Sportul Studenţesc of Bucharest instead.
In the winter of 1987 Hagi was transferred to Steaua Bucureşti as the
team prepared their European Super Cup final against FC Dynamo Kyiv. The
original contract was for one game only, the final. However after winning
the trophy, Hagi scoring the only goal of the final, Steaua did not want to
release him back to Sportul Studenţesc and retained him for the next years.
During his Steaua years, (1987 - 1990), Hagi played 97 Liga I games, scoring
76 goals. He and the team reached the European Cup semifinal in 1988 and the
final in the following year, champions of Romania in 1987, 1988 and 1989 and
winning the Romania Cup in 1987, 1988 and 1989.
After the 1990 World Cup, he was signed by Real Madrid. The La Liga side
paid $4.3 million to Steaua for him. Hagi played two seasons with Real
Madrid and then was sold to Brescia Calcio.
Hagi helped Brescia Calcio win the Italian Serie B and get promoted to
Serie A, but in the next season the club relegated back to Serie B and Hagi
left the club to play for FC Barcelona.
After two years at FC Barcelona, Hagi signed for Galatasaray S.K.. Hagi
did not win any trophies in Spain, neither with Real Madrid nor with FC
Barcelona. However, at Galatasaray, he was both successful and highly
popular among the Turkish supporters of the Istanbul side. Hagi and manager
Fatih Terim built a team that would win four league titles, two domestic
cups, the UEFA Cup after defeating Arsenal and then the European Super Cup
after a final with Hagi's former club, Real Madrid.
Hagi made his debut for the Romania national team at the age of 18 in
1983 in a game against Norway played in Oslo. He was part of the Romanian
team until 2000.
Hagi led the Romanian team to its best ever international performance at
the 1994 World Cup, where the team reached the quarterfinals. Hagi scored
three times in the tournament. In the first of Romania's group stage
matches, against Colombia, Hagi scored one of the most memorable goals of
that tournament, curling in a 40-yard lob over Colombian goalkeeper Oscar
Córdoba who was caught out of position.
Four years later, after the 1998 World Cup, Hagi decided to retire from
the national team, only to change his mind after few months and play at the
2000 European Football Championship.
Hagi retired from professional football in 2001, age 36.
Career as Coach
In 2001 Hagi was named the manager of Romania, replacing Ladislau Bölöni,
who left the squad to coach Sporting Clube de Portugal. However, after
failing to qualify the team for the World Cup, Hagi was sacked. His only
notable achievement during the six months as Romania's manager was the win
in Budapest against Hungary, the first of this kind for the Romania national
In 2003, Hagi took over as coach of Turkish first division side Bursaspor,
but left the club after a disappointing start to the season. He then became
manager of Galatasaray in 2004, leading the team to the Turkish Football Cup
Steaua Bucureşti wanted to hire him in the summer of 2005, but Hagi's
requested wage could not be met by the Romanian champions. Hagi became
manager of FCU Politehnica Timişoara instead, and after a string of bad
results and disagreements with the management, he left the club after a few
months. Constanţa's main stadium used to bear his name, but the name was
changed after Hagi signed with FCU Politehnica Timişoara.
From June 2007 to September 20th (for 2 months, 3 weeks and 4 days), Hagi
coached Steaua Bucuresti, had a mediocre start in the internal championship
mainly due to the large number of unavailable injured players, managed to
qualify the team for the second time in line to Champions League Groups
passing two qualifying rounds. He resigned due to a long series of conflicts
with the team's 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 resignation happened just a few
hours after Steaua's first Champions League game in the actual season with
Slavia Prague in Prague, Czech Republic, lost with 2-1.
It is thought that he may become Director of Football at Scottish side
Inverness Caledonian Thistle or main coach at Universitatea Cluj (currently
situated on the last place in Liga 1).
|Date of birth
||5 February 1965 (1965-02-05)
|Place of birth
||Săcele, Constanţa, Romania
||1.74 m (5 ft
||Coach (former Midfield
FCU Politehnica Timişoara
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)
- Steaua Bucureşti
- European Supercup: 1987
- Romanian Football Championship: 1987, 1988, 1989
- Romanian Cup: 1987, 1988, 1989
- UEFA Cup: 2000
- European Supercup: 2000
- Turkish Football Championship: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
- Turkish Cup: 1999, 2000
- Turkish Cup: 2005 (as coach)
Galatasaray SK Coach
Politehnica Timişoara Coach
- ^ "Constanţa
s-a lepădat de Gheorghe Hagi", Gândul, November 5, 2005. Retrieved
hagi could score from any position of the field he truly was
one the best players in history
he was a legend...
WHERE THERE IS HAGI THERE IS ADRENALIN BEST FOOTBALLER OF THE
he is the best
HAGI is the best player i ever seen in my life.
he is most clever player i have ever seen. he is a legend. i
wish he hadn't been older. but still he is best
He was a legend, he still is!!!!
Hagi is the BESTTTT NOT Ronaldo and rhonaldinio they have
nothing on the LITTLE mystro HAGIII
Gheorghe Hagi is all the time best!!!! He is professor of
george hagi is my favourite
yes i agree with fifa. hagi really was the best player in 1990s. but he is
the best football player i ever seen. zidane and maradona are also good players
but not as well as my hero hagi. and i want to say that why some people says
ronaldinho is the best i do not understand. he is not the best one. because he
has not played well in world cup 2006. if you played well in cups then you could
be a good player. g. hagi always will be my hero.