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Gheorghe Hagi

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Gheorghe Hagi

Gheorghe Hagi (born February 5 1965 in Săcele, Constanţa County) is a Romanian football player who played for the Romanian national team in three World Cups. Nicknamed The Carpathian Maradona, he is a hero in his homeland, he has won his country's Player of the Year award a record six times, and was recently named Romania's player of the century.

During the 1994 World Cup, Hagi made highlights by scoring vital goals for Romania, including a 35 meter lob against Colombia. Having played for Farul Constanţa (1979/1980 and 1982/83), Luceafărul Bucharest (1980/1982), Sportul Studenţesc (1983/1986), Steaua Bucharest (1986/1990), Real Madrid (1990/1992), Brescia (1992/1994) and FC Barcelona (1994/1996), Hagi then joined Galatasaray, the Turkish club team that captured the UEFA Cup title in 2000. Prior to his third retirement in 2001, he won 125 international caps, scoring 35 goals.

Hagi has since returned to football as a coach. He became the head coach of the Romanian national team in 2001, although he only lasted six months as the team failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. He then took over as coach of Turkish first division side Bursaspor but left that club after a disappointing start to the season.

After a 18 month hiatus spent running a coastal Black Sea hotel and appearing in television commercials, he then returned to club management at the helm of the club at which he won his first European trophy, Galatasaray. He resigned from this position, on May 30 2005, at the end of his first season in the role. For many Galatasaray fans, a third place finish in the League (and therefore missing out on a prestigious berth in the 2005/2006 UEFA Champions League competition) was highly disappointing, despite the club's success in the Turkish Cup.

Hagi is ethnically Aromanian. In March 2004, he was named among the top 125 living footballers by Pel. Hagi is Adrian Mutu and Alexandra Mutu's godfather.

External links

ja:ゲオルゲ・ハジ no:Gheorghe Hagi pl:Gheorghe Hagi ro:Gheorghe Hagi tr:Gheorghe Hagi

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