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Top facts about Gheorghe Hagi, Maradona of the Carpathians

Thu 14 October 2021 | 8:30

Gheorghe Hagi was considered one of the greatest attacking midfielders in the world, who was known for his vision, technique, passing, and finishing skills. Read on to find out more facts about Gheorghe Hagi, the Romanian footballer.

Gheorghe Hagi (born 5 February 1965) is a Romanian soccer coach and retired attacking midfielder.

Gheorghe Hagi’s age

is 56. Here you can find out the most important facts about Gheorghe Hagi, the legendary player.

Gheorghe Hagi is presently the holder and coach of Farul Constanța, a Romanian club. During the 1980s and 1990s, Hagi was regarded as one of the best players in the world, and is widely regarded as the biggest Romanian footballer of all time.

Fans of the Turkish club Galatasaray, with whom Hagi finished his career, dubbed him "Comandante" ("The Commander"), while Romanian fans dubbed him "Regele" ("The King"). He was dubbed "The Maradona of the Carpathians" for his creative advanced playmaking, dribbling, technique, vision, passing, and shooting.

After beginning his career with Farul Constanța and later appearing for Sportul Studențesc and Steaua București in Romania, Hagi went on to play for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in Spain, Brescia in Italy, and

Galatasaray

in Turkey, making him one of the few footballers to have represented both Spanish opposing teams Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Hagi he managed to win a Supercopa de Espana title with Real Madrid, the Anglo-Italian Cup with Brescia, another Supercopa de Espana title with Barcelona, and four Süper Lig titles, two Turkish Cups, two Turkish Super Cups, and the UEFA Cup with Steaua București – also reaching the final of the 1988–89 European Cup – and Supercopa de Espana title with

Real Madrid

.

Top facts about Gheorghe Hagi:

An important

fact about Gheorghe Hagi

is that he represented Romania in three FIFA World Cups: 1990, 1994 (when he was selected to the World Cup All-Star Team after helping his country reach the quarter-finals), and 1998; as well as three UEFA European Championships: 1984, 1996, and 2000.

Gheorghe Hagi early life

Gheorghe Hagi’s father, Iancu Hagi, and mother, Chirita Hagi, welcomed him into the world on February 5, 1965, in Sacele, Romania. Gheorghe Hagi's zodiac sign is Aquarius, according to his date of birth. Speaking about

Gheorghe Hagi’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he grew up with a strong desire to play football.

He aspired to be a professional football player one day. It was his grandfather who introduced Hagi to sport, giving him a ball made of horse hair. Regarding

Gheorghe Hagi’s parents

, it is worth mentioning that they wanted him to pursue a more secure profession, but Hagi was set on making a name for himself in football.

Hagi’s grandfather was one of 40,000 ethnic Aromanians who fled Greece to Romania. He set up home in the village of Sacele, near Constanta on the Black Sea coast. Hagi has fond memories of his grandfather who, like many Aromanians, was a shepherd.

“I was proud when he, who was called Gheorghe like me, asked me to go and spend the whole day with him minding the sheep,” he said. “I loved to eat cheese and tomatoes with him, and that is still my favorite food today.”

He never saw himself as one of the best Romanian players of all time. He has Aromanian ancestors. "The Aromanians' primary characteristic," he claims, is "ambition." As a young man, he was mostly influenced by countrymen Anghel Iordănescu and Ion Dumitru.

Hagi made his Romanian youth team debut at Montaigu, France, when he was 15 years old, and he made such an impact that a number of European teams wanted to recruit him. However, Romanian legislation made it illegal for minors to leave the country, and Hagi claims he couldn't have gone anyhow.

“It was extremely tempting,” he admits, “but staying away from my mother, father, and sisters was impossible. We Aromanians have extremely strong family connections, and the most important thing to us is our relationships. As a result, I turned down offers from prestigious teams such as Barcelona, Juventus, Internazionale, and Saint-Etienne.”

Gheorghe Hagi personal life

Gheorghe Hagi is married to Marilena Hagi and has two children with her, Ianis and Kira. Ianis Hagi, his son and a footballer, was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1998, when he was playing for Galatasaray SK.

Ianis is presently a player for Rangers in Scotland. Kira Hagi, his daughter, is an artist who was born in 1996 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, when he was starring for Barcelona.

An important fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that, according to Cinemagia, he was selected to voice Dagda in the animated film Epic, which was produced by 20th Century Fox.

Gheorghe Hagi professional career

Gheorghe Hagi began his senior playing career in Farul Constanţa, eventually moving to Sportul Studenţesc in 1983. During the following four years, he made a name for himself by scoring 58 goals in 108 caps for Sportul, drawing the attention of Romanian dictator Ceauşescu.

In 1987, Ceauşescu’s government oversaw Hagi’s transfer to Romanian powerhouse Steaua Bucureşti, and it was widely speculated that Sportul got nothing in return.

Gheorghe Hagi club career

A notable fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he began his career as a member of Farul Constanța's junior teams in the 1970s, before being chosen by the Romanian Football Federation to join Luceafărul București's squad in 1980, where he stayed for two years.

He returned to Constanța in 1982, but a year later, at the age of 18, he was ready to make the jump to a top club. He was supposed to go to Universitatea Craiova, but instead selected Sportul Studenţesc Bucharest.

Steaua București

An important fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he joined Steaua București in late 1986 as the club prepared for the European Super Cup final against

Dynamo Kyiv

. The first agreement was just for a one-game loan, the final.

Steaua, on the other hand, did not want to give Hagi back to Sportul Studențesc after winning the trophy, in which he scored the game's lone goal from a free kick. Hagi scored 76 goals in 97 Liga I games for Steaua between 1987 and 1990, and 98 goals in all in 107 appearances for the club across all competitions.

With the club, he reached the European Cup semi-final in 1988 and the final the following year, and in the previous edition of the event, Hagi was one of the top scorers.

Between 1987 and 1989, Hagi won three consecutive league and Cup doubles with Steaua. His excellent performances drew interest from Arrigo Sacchi's Milan, Juventus of Serie A, and

Bayern Munich

of Germany, but Nicolae Ceaușescu's communist government turned down all offers.

Real Madrid

Hagi was acquired by Spanish club Real Madrid on June 27, 1990, after excelling at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The La Liga side paid $3.5 million to Steaua București to get him.

An important

fact about Gheorghe Hagi

is that he spent two seasons with Real Madrid, scoring 20 goals in 84 games and winning only the Supercopa de Espana; some of his most noteworthy showings for the team included a hat-trick in a 5–0 home victory over Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on matchday 22 of the 1991–92 period, and a 40-yard hurl against Osasuna during the same season.

In 1992, he was transferred to Brescia, an Italian club, for 8 billion lire.

Brescia

Hagi started the 1992–93 season with

Brescia

in Serie A, but the team was demoted to Serie B following his first season.

Hagi helped Brescia win the Anglo-Italian Cup the next season, beating Notts County 1–0 in the final at Wembley, as well as finishing third in Serie B and earning promotion back to Serie A.

Barcelona

A notable

fact about Gheorghe Hagi

is that he returned to Spain after the 1994 World Cup and was acquired for £2 million by reigning La Liga winners Barcelona, where he quickly won his second Supercopa de Espana championship; but, under manager Johan Cruyff, he struggled to get playing time at the club.

Galatasaray

At the age of 31, Hagi joined Turkish club Galatasaray after two years at

Barça

. He was the subject of a rival transfer bid from S Paulo FC.

Despite being in the twilight of his career, he was very successful at Galatasaray, and became immensely famous among Turkish fans as a result of his outstanding achievements for the club. Between 1996 and 2000, Hagi was a key part of the Galatasaray squad that won four consecutive league championships.

Hagi had one of his finest seasons in his career in 2000, when he was 35 years old, winning every major championship with Galatasaray. Most notably, Hagi led the team to victory in the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup final, beating

Arsenal

on penalties after a 0–0 draw; during the match, Hagi was sent out for hitting Arsenal captain Tony Adams in extra-time.

Galatasaray became the first Turkish club to win a UEFA club tournament championship as a result of this. The team's UEFA Cup victory was quickly followed by a historic 2–1 win against Hagi's old club Real Madrid in extra time in the UEFA Super Cup.

The resulting frenzy increased Hagi's popularity among fans even further, prompting former France international Luis Fernández to remark, "Hagi is like wine; the older it gets, the better it is."

Hagi was one of the most famous athletes in both Turkey and Romania until he retired in 2001. The Galatasaray fans praised Hagi's performances throughout his tenure with the club, and the chant "I Love You Hagi" was created in his honor.

An important fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he temporarily came out of retirement in 2004, while coaching Galatasaray, to participate in a testimonial game for his old teammate Suat Kaya against Turkey XI. In the first half, Hagi wore his famous number 10 jersey and guided Galatasaray to a 2–1 victory.

Gheorghe Hagi international career

A notable

fact about Gheorghe Hagi

is that he at the age of 18, he made his Romanian national team debut against

Norway

in Oslo in 1983. In 1984, he made his international debut against Northern Ireland.

In a World Cup qualification versus the same opponent the following year, he was named captain for the first time.

Despite Romania's failure to qualify for the 1986 World Cup, Hagi went on to play in the 1990 World Cup, where he helped the team advance to the round of 16, before the Republic of Ireland ended their run after winning the ensuing penalty shoot-out following a 0–0 draw, with Hagi scoring Romania's first spot kick.

Four years later, in the 1994 World Cup, he guided Romania to its greatest ever international performance, reaching the quarter-finals, only to lose to Sweden in a penalty shoot-out once more.

Hagi scored three times in the tournament, including a famous goal in a 3–2 upset victory against South American powerhouse and former runners-up Argentina.

Hagi provided two assists and scored one of the tournament's most memorable goals, curling in a 40-yard lob over Colombian goalkeeper Oscar Córdoba, who was caught out of position, in Romania's first group stage match against

Colombia

, a 3–1 win; the goal was later voted the fifth greatest World Cup goal in a FIFAworldcup.com poll. Hagi's efforts earned him a spot on the Tournament Team.

Hagi led Romania in the 1998 World Cup four years later; Hagi had said that France '98 would be his last tournament. Romania finished first in their group, which included

England

, Colombia, and Tunisia, and advanced to the round of 16, where they were ousted by Croatia.

An important fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he resigned from the national team after the tournament, only to return a few months later to play in UEFA Euro 2000, when he was sent off in a 2–0 quarter-final defeat to eventual runners-up Italy; this was his last international appearance.

At the age of 36, Hagi resigned from professional football, and on April 24, 2001, he was honored with a testimonial game dubbed "Gala Hagi," which pitted a squad of Romanian All-Stars against a side of foreign All-Stars.

His 124 caps for his nation were a national record at the time of his retirement, which has since been broken by Dorinel Munteanu. With 35 goals, he and Adrian Mutu hold the record for most goals scored for the Romanian national team.

Gheorghe Hagi coaching career

A notable fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he was appointed Romania's national team manager in 2001, succeeding Ladislau Bölöni, who left the club to coach Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Hagi, on the other hand, was fired when the squad failed to qualify for the World Cup. The victory over

Hungary

in Budapest was his sole noteworthy accomplishment during his six months as Romania's manager.

Bursaspor

Hagi took over as coach of Turkish Süper Lig team Bursaspor in 2003, but resigned following a poor start to the season.

Galatasaray

In 2004, Hagi took over as manager of Galatasaray, guiding the club to the Turkish Cup final in 2005, defeating bitter rivals

Fenerbahçe

5–1. His contract, however, was not extended when his squad failed to beat Fenerbahçe to win the Süper Lig championship in 2004–05 during the club's centenary year.

Timișoara Politehnica

In the summer of 2005, Steaua București attempted to recruit Hagi, but the Romanian champions were unable to meet Hagi's salary demands, and he went on to coach Politehnica Timișoara instead.

He departed the club after a few months due to a series of bad results and disputes with management. Hagi's name used to be on Constanța's major stadium, but it was altered when he joined with Politehnica Timișoara.

Bucharest Steaua

From June to September 2007, Hagi instructed Steaua București, which had a mediocre start in the internal championship due to a large number of unavailable injured players, but managed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the second time in a row after passing two qualifying rounds.

He left owing to a lengthy history of disagreements with club owner Gigi Becali, who is also his godson. The owner's policy of forcing players, dictating the team's strategy and threats was the primary reason for leaving. Hagi's resignation came only hours after Steaua's 2–1 defeat to Slavia Prague in the Champions League.

Galatasaray

On October 21, 2010, Hagi signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with Galatasaray after Coach

Frank Rijkaard

was fired. On the 22nd of October, he gave his formal presentation. Tugay Kerimolu, a former Galatasaray teammate, aided him in Istanbul, but he was fired on March 22, 2011, following a string of bad performances in the Süper Lig.

Constanța Viitorul

Gheorghe Hagi was named the manager of Viitorul Constanța in September 2014, in addition to being the club's owner and chairman.

After escaping relegation in his first season, Viitorul went on to be the season's surprise package in 2015–16, placing third in the first half of the regular season, earning Hagi the Romania Coach of the Year award. Viitorul eventually finished fourth in the regular season, earning their first play-off berth.

Viitorul came in fifth place in the play-offs, however owing to Dinamo București's bankruptcy, they qualified for the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. Viitorul were eliminated following a 0–0 home draw after losing 0–5 to Gent in their maiden European encounter at the Ghelamco Arena.

After a 1–0 home win against CFR Cluj, Viitorul won their first Liga I championship; they completed the play-off with 44 points, the same as FCSB, but with a superior head-to-head record after a 3–1 home victory over FCSB. As a consequence, Hagi was named Romania Coach of the Year for the second time.

Gheorghe Hagi style of play

Hagi, a gifted left-footed attacking midfielder, was often likened to

Diego Maradona

's playing style during his career, owing to his technical skill as well as his volatile nature and leadership.

A notable fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he was a quick, highly creative, and mobile advanced playmaker who was tactically versatile, able to play in a variety of midfield and offensive positions on either wing or through the middle, despite being naturally left-footed, though he preferred to use 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.

Hagi was known for his first touch and quickness on the ball, as well as his timing, perception of space, bursts of acceleration, and dribbling abilities, which allowed him to go past opponents; he was also praised for his vision and accurate passing.

Despite the fact that he was capable of scoring and assisting goals, as well as being a precise finisher and set-piece taker with a propensity for scoring goals with strong, bending long-range shots. Hagi had considerable upper body strength, which, along with his control, let him shield the ball from opponents and create space for himself or his teammates.

Despite his talent and reputation as one of the greatest number tens of his generation, his career was marred by inconsistency at times, and he was also regarded as a controversial player due to his rebellious and arrogant attitude, as well as his low work-rate, aggression, unsportsmanlike behavior, and lack of discipline, which led to numerous disagreements and confrontations with his managers, opponents, and officials.

Some quick facts about Gheorghe Hagi:

Between 1983 and 2000, he earned a total of 124 caps for Romania, second only to Dorinel Munteanu in terms of caps won; he is also the joint all-time leading goalscorer for the Romanian national team (along with Adrian Mutu) with 35 goals.

Both in his native country and in Turkey, Hagi is revered as a hero. He is considered as one of the greatest football players of his age, having won Romanian Footballer of the Year a record seven times. Hagi was nominated for the Ballon d'Or six times, with his best finish of fourth place in 1994.

In November 2003, the Romanian Football Federation named Hagi the Golden Player of Romania, honoring him as the country's most accomplished player during the previous 50 years.

Pelé called him one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony in 2004. He was rated 25th on World Soccer Magazine's list of the 100 best footballers of the twentieth century in 1999.

An important fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he went on to coach the Romanian national team as well as teams in Romania and Turkey, including Bursaspor, Galatasaray, Politehnica Timișoara, FCSB, and Viitorul Constanța, after retiring in 2001.

He established Romanian team Viitorul Constanța in 2009, which he coached from 2014 until 2020. Hagi also founded the Gheorghe Hagi Football Academy, one of Southeastern Europe's biggest football academies.

Born in Sacele, Gheorge Hagi’s, outstanding talent was discovered quickly and after playing for Farul Constanza and Sportul Bucharest for a short period of time, he was transferred to Steaua Bucharest in 1987.

In Romania’s premier club, he won the league and cup double three years in a row. Hagi was a very skillful and creative player and very often did unpredictable things with the ball.

Gheorghe played in his first World Cup in Italy in 1990. Although he displayed a few flashes of brilliance in some games, that year was not going to be his best. Romania bowed out in the second round after losing to Ireland on penalties.

Hagi was at the peak of his career by the time of the World Cup four years later in America, and he showed the world what he was capable of doing. He was the best player of the tournament alongside the likes of

Romario

and

Roberto Baggio

.

He also found the net three times in that World Cup with one of them being a wonderful 40 yard lob against Colombia. However, once again penalties stood between Romania and further advancement as Sweden won in the quarterfinal.

Hagi played for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Brescia with variable success and never quite unleashed his true potential at club level abroad. He struggled with disciplinary problems on the field and was suspended several times.

When Romania qualified for the World Cup in 1998, he said it would be his last tournament. Romania reached the second round and lost 1-0 with the goal scored…yes, from a penalty. He made a come-back prior to Euro 2000 and got sent off in his 125th and last match for Romania in the quarterfinal against Italy.

An important fact about Gheorghe Hagi is that he spent the final stages of his career in the Turkish league for Galatasaray where he had success winning the UEFA Cup and played some of his best soccer at club level ever.

It is difficult to talk about him in Bucharest without expressing respect. When Hustler released a Romanian version seven years ago, the cover bragged not of the erotica within but of an exclusive interview with Hagi, indicating his status in Romanian culture.

The fact that he was embarrassed – speaking of his parents' embarrassment and claiming that it wasn't made clear who the interview was for – doesn't change the fact that he was selected as the cover star: Gheorghe Hagi is the most renowned Romanian who has ever lived.

What's more remarkable is that Hagi achieved such recognition despite not being of Romanian ethnicity in a nation where the extreme right has considerable power and where issues of origin are often addressed.

He is Aromanian, one of two million people dispersed throughout south-east Europe who are descended from indigenous Balkans who were Latinized after Roman troops' colonization.

Gheorghe Hagi social media

Regarding

Gheorghe Hagi social media

, it should be mentioned that he does not have any active pages on any social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter.

Gheorghe Hagi body measurements

Speaking about

Gheorghe Hagi body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former star is 5 ft 9 in (174 cm) and weighs 158 lb (72 kg).

Gheorghe Hagi net worth and salary

Gheorghe Hagi's net worth

is believed to be about $30 million. He is widely regarded as the best Romanian player of all time. His net worth is derived from his income as a manager as well as the profit from his investment in the football club.

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