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Gheorghe Hagi
Personal information
Full name Gheorghe Hagi
Date of birth 5 February 1965 (1965-02-05) (age 45)
Place of birth Săcele, Constanţa, Romania
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1978–1980 Farul Constanţa
1980–1981 Luceafărul Bucureşti
1981–1982 Farul Constanţa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 Farul Constanţa 018 00(7)
1983–1987 Sportul Studenţesc 107 0(58)
1987–1990 Steaua Bucureşti 097 0(76)
1990–1992 Real Madrid 064 0(15)
1992–1994 Brescia 061 0(14)
1994–1996 Barcelona 035 0(11)
1996–2001 Galatasaray 132 0(59)
Total 513 (232)
National team
1983–2000 Romania 125 0(35)
Teams managed
2001 Romania
2003 Bursaspor
2004–2005 Galatasaray
2006 Politehnica Timişoara
2007 Steaua Bucureşti
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gheorghe Hagi (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈɡe̯orɡe ˈhadʒi]; born February 5, 1965 in Săcele), is a Romanian former football player, born in an Aromanian family. He was famous for his passing, close control, long shots and was regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s.

Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", he is considered a hero in his homeland as well as in Turkey. He has won his country's "Player of the Year" award 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.[1] Hagi is one of the few footballers to have played for both the Spanish rival clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

In March 2004, he was named among the top 125 living footballers by Pelé.

In a 2006 poll conducted by Romanian Television to identify the "greatest Romanians of all time", Hagi came in 15th.


Club career

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 Romanian giants Steaua Bucureşti as the team prepared for their European Super Cup final against FC Dynamo Kyiv. The original contract was for one game only, the final. However after winning the trophy, where Hagi scored the only goal of the game, Steaua did not want to release him back to Sportul Studenţesc and retained him. 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. Hagi and Steaua were the champions of Romania in 1987, 1988 and 1989 and as well as 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 Bucureşti 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 was relegated back to Serie B. After performing memorably during the 1994 World Cup, Hagi was signed by FC Barcelona.

After two years at FC Barcelona, Hagi signed for Galatasaray S.K.. At Galatasaray, he was both successful and highly popular among the Turkish supporters. Hagi and manager Fatih Terim built a team that would win four league titles. Over the years, Galatasaray, led by Hagi, managed to win the UEFA Cup after defeating Arsenal in the finals. This was followed by the capture of the European Super Cup with a historic win against Hagi's former club Real Madrid. The mass hysteria caused by these wins in Istanbul raised Hagi's popularity even further with the fans and made French ex-international Luis Fernández to say that "Hagi is like wine, the older it gets, the better it is". In 2000, at the age of 35, Hagi had the best days of his career, winning every possible trophy with Galatasaray. When he retired in 2001, he remained one of the most beloved players in the Turkish and Romanian championships.

National team

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 before Sweden ended their run after winning the penalty shoot-out. 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. 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. He was named in the Team of the Tournament.

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, in a game called "Gala Hagi" on the 24th of April. He still holds the record as Romanian national team top scorer.

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 football team.

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 Cup in 2005 final with 5-1 as a score vs. their rivals Fenerbahçe SK

Romanian team 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.[2]

From June 2007 to September 20, Hagi coached Steaua Bucureşti, 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.


As player

Sportul Studenţesc
Steaua Bucureşti
Real Madrid
FC Barcelona

As manager


Career statistics

Club performance League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Romania League Cupa României Total
1982-83 Farul Constanţa Liga I 18 7
1983-84 Sportul Studenţesc Liga I 31 2
1984-85 30 20
1985-86 31 31
1986-87 Steaua Bucureşti Liga I 14 10
1987-88 31 26
1988-89 30 31
1989-90 22 18
Spain League Copa del Rey Total
1990-91 Real Madrid La Liga 29 3
1991-92 35 12
Italy League Coppa Italia Total
1992-93 Brescia Serie A 31 5
1993-94 Serie B 30 9
Spain League Copa del Rey Total
1994-95 Barcelona La Liga 19 8
1995-96 5 3
Turkey League Türkiye Kupası Total
1996-97 Galatasaray Turkcell Super League 30 14
1997-98 30 8
1998-99 28 14
1999-00 19 12
2000-01 20 11
Total Romania 207 145
Spain 88 18
Italy 61 14
Turkey 127 55
Career Total 483 232

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Romania Romania 2001 2001 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 !
Bursaspor Turkey 2003 2003 &0000000000000013.00000013 &0000000000000002.0000002 &0000000000000005.0000005 &0000000000000006.0000006 &0000000000000015.38000015.38
Galatasaray Turkey 2004 2005 &0000000000000047.00000047 &0000000000000032.00000032 &0000000000000006.0000006 &0000000000000009.0000009 &0000000000000068.09000068.09
Timişoara Romania 2006 2006 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 !
Steaua Bucureşti Romania 2007 2007 &0000000000000007.0000007 &0000000000000003.0000003 &0000000000000002.0000002 &0000000000000002.0000002 &0000000000000042.86000042.86
Total &0000000000000067.00000067 &0000000000000037.00000037 &0000000000000013.00000013 &0000000000000017.00000017 &0000000000000055.22000055.22

See also


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Romania Victor Piţurcă
Steaua Top Scorer
Succeeded by
Romania Gavril Balint
Preceded by
Romania Cosmin Olăroiu
Steaua Manager
Succeeded by
Italy Massimo Pedrazzini

Simple English

Gheorghe Hagi
Personal information
Full name Gheorghe Hagi
Date of birth 5 February 1965 (1965-02-05) (age 46)
Place of birth    Săcele, Constanţa, Romania
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Youth clubs
Luceafărul Bucureşti
Senior clubs
Years Club
Sportul Studenţesc Bucureşti
Steaua Bucureşti
Real Madrid
National team
1983-2000 Romania
Teams managed
Politehnica Timişoara
Steaua Bucureşti

Gheorghe Hagi (born 5 February 1965) is a former Romanian football player. He has played for and Romania national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1982/83ConstanţaDivizia A187
1983/84Sportul Studenţesc BucureştiDivizia A312
1986/87Steaua BucureştiDivizia A1410
1990/91Real MadridLa Liga293
1992/93BresciaSerie A315
1993/94Serie B309
1994/95BarcelonaLa Liga164
1996/97GalatasarayFirst League3010
CountryRomania 223141
Spain 9922
Italy 6114
Turkey 13255
Total 515232

International career statistics


Romania national team


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