Hagi leads own side to league title

Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi spearheaded Viitorul Constanta to their first ever Romanian league title just eight years after he founded the club with a 1-0 win over heavy-hitters FC Cluj on Saturday. Photo: Collected

Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi coached FC Viitorul Constanta to a historic first league title just eight years after the 52-year-old founded the club.

A 1-0 win over traditional heavyweights FC Cluj saw the club, popularly known Puștii lui Hagi (Hagi's Kids), confirmed as Liga I champions.

Hagi, nicknamed 'The Maradona of the Carpathians' during his playing days, is currently owner, chairman and manager of the Viitorul.

However, FCSB -- formerly Steaua Bucharest -- confirmed that they will appeal the decision as the two sides finished level on 44 points, despite the Romanian football governing body's official website confirming Viitorul were Liga 1 champions by virtue of a better head-to-head record during the play-off phase of the season.

Steaua owner Gigi Becali however claims that a better record during the initial phase of the season means the league should rightfully be theirs.

Hagi, who founded Viitorul in 2009 following an acrimonious departure from Steaua, insisted his former side were just bitter at finishing second.

"Even though we know some are upset, we are happy. The big must behave like big men. They must know how to lose," Hagi said.

Hagi starred for Romania at three World Cups and played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, but despite his success as a player the achievement of winning the title with Viitorul -- whose name means 'Future' -- is not lost on Hagi.

And what makes is even more special is that the team was formed predominantly from players who graduated from the academy — and just one non-Romanian player in their squad.

"I'm proud, happy, because this academy and this great team, these children, have fought with their last ounce of energy and achieved the impossible. We're the youngest champions in Europe," Hagi continued.

“Now this city has entered the history of Romanian football. I've been investing in young people and that's one of my greatest qualities. I'm happy now that I did the right thing."


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