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Name Gheorghe Hagi
Spelling The Maradona of the Carpathians
Gender Male
Ethnic Romanian
Job Romanian Footballer
Desc With one of the odder career trajectories among modern-day greats, Hagi spent the best part of a decade as an impossibly prolific attacking midfielder in Romania’s top flight, before two hit-and-miss years at Real Madrid and later a similar spell at Barcelona. Sandwiched between his time at the two Spanish giants was a heartwarming two years in Italy, where he was part of Mircea Lucescu’s ‘Little Romania’ contingent at Brescia. He endured relegation in his first season but stayed loyal to the club despite better offers, and fired them back into Serie A. Aged 30 and supposedly winding down towards retirement, he joined Galatasaray, where he spent a laughably fruitful half-decade cementing living-legend status and hoovering up another 10 medals

Affiliation

Club as Coach Viitorul Constanta
Club as Player Galatasaray
  Barcelona FC

Relationship

Son Ianis Hagi

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[Quote on Ruud Gullit] [. . .] Gullit was a legend. He was more powerful than Van Basten, so it was almost impossible to get the ball from him. But he had a different style, and was Van Basten’s perfect partner: every coach’s dream is to have a technical player partnered with a physical one

2016 12 20 Retrieve

[Gheorghe Hagi says Messi and Barcelona have changed football forever] Messi has always had an amazing team behind him. I think that was his luck, to be in a team with 20 extraordinary players. They changed football forever. There were so pragmatic, so simple, going from simple to complicated with a lot of technique. Because what matters is the mind, the talent and the skills of the player, because you have to choose players with talent

I learned a lot of him. When he called me at the [1994] World Cup, [to tell me] that he wanted me in Barcelona, it was a happy day for me. I knew if I went there I would learn a lot from Ajax, Cruyff, Barcelona too with the concept. So it was an honour for me to be coached, to learn, to see the hero of my childhood, to be near him, to see how he thinks, to see how he acts if you do something wrong - and that happened two or three times because I made mistakes. I learned a lot from him. All his thoughts about football, how he thought, how he created, how he trained, that was fundamental. I say that Barcelona changed my mind.

2017 03 23 Retrieve

[Gheorghe Hagi on his son] I am sure that Ianis will have a great career. He’s an ideal No.10. I hope that he can become better than I was

2017 07 22 Retrieve

[Gheorghe Hagi speaks about winning the Romanian league as manager of Viitorul Constanta and his passion for youth development for club and country] I took a lot of risks but I did it because of the immense passion I have for football. If my academy has become an example for others then that’s a very good thing. I had a great career as a player and I’m very happy with what I achieved but this is the second part. My mission now is to help others achieve their dreams, in football and in life

: 2019 07 13 Genk have signed Ianis Hagi, the son of Romania great Gheorghe Hagi.

2019 08 13 Retrieve

[Gheorghe Hagi says Real Madrid would be among the favourites for this season’s Champions League if they signed Neymar] They can win easier. Without a doubt. If they sign Neymar and with the Eden Hazard signing, they can win the Champions League again. [Zinedine] Zidane will then have to find a place for each one, but it’s the best thing that can happen to a coach. You just have to motivate them

[Neymar has struggled to hit the heights of his time at Barca following his move to France] There are times that he is good and sometimes he is not. The value of the player is the same. He is a player who would do well for all the teams in the world

[Hagi was also drawn on the age-old debate of whether he prefers Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo] I would love to be his coach, but I confess that I choose Messi because I have a small weakness for him being left-footed. I was a left-footed footballer myself. I can’t choose another one, it’s my style

2019 08 17 Retrieve

[Gheorghe Hagi speaking after being asked whether he prefers Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi] I would love to be his coach, but I confess that I choose Messi because I have a small weakness for him being left-footed. I was a left-footed footballer myself. I can’t choose another one, it’s my style