Romania legend Gheorghe Hagi still has the magic touch

Even at 48 years old, Gheorghe Hagi, unanimously considered Romania’s all-time greatest footballer, still has that legendary touch of 20 years ago.

In an all-star match between Galatasaray and Barcelona legends (Hagi played for both, and managed the Turkish side on two occassions) the ”The Maradona of the Carpathians” pulled off a sublime 180-degree pirouette pass with the outside of his boot. Of course, it found his teammate perfectly.

Brilliant stuff!


Steaua Bucharest owner makes Champions League prediction… from back of prison van


(Photo: 101GreatGoals)

Usually when we see the owner of a football team, they’re sitting comfortably in an owner’s box or relaxing on the deck of a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean. Gigi Becali, however, isn’t your typical owner.

Steaua Bucharest’s front man is serving a three-year prison sentence for illegal land-swap dealings. Ever the good owner, however, Becali was confident his side would emerge the victors in Tuesday’s Champions League tilt against Chelsea.

Seen here in the back of a police van flashing “2-0,” we can’t help but think the Romanian politician was being a bit brash. In reality, it was Chelsea who would hold that lead by halftime, before finishing Steaua off 4-0 after the full 90.

Perhaps he was predicting the scoreline in Chelsea’s favor?

(h/t 101GreatGoals)


Angelic tifos, great goals, fights - the Romanian derby had it all


Image & videos via 101GG

The Bucharest Derby, played between Romanian clubs Dinamo and Steaua Bucharest, is one of the most intense feuds in all of soccer. Though not as high-profile as the main rivalries in Europe’s top leagues, this derby features all the passion, anxiety and mutual hatred that make all local rivalry games so compelling.

On Sunday, the latest edition of “The Eternal Derby” delivered on all fronts. To begin, the home Dinamo fans unfurled a giant, awesome tifosi depicting Catalin Hildan and Florea Dumitriche, two former club legends that have passed on, rising up into heaven:

After the pre-match festivities, however, Dinamo fans had little to cheer about. It took Steaua defender Iasmin Latovlevici little more than four minutes to score this cracker of a goal, a stunning volley from long range: 

His celebration was almost as spectacular as the goal. First, Latovlevici hiked up his shorts to John Stockton’s level, then paraded around with the jersey of his teammate Paul Parvulescu, who was celebrating his birthday.

Defending champions Steaua would finish ruining Dinamo’s day, winning the derby 2-1 to remain undefeated in the early part of the season.

Sadly, the violent side of the rivalry also reared its ugly head. Ultras from the two teams got into a nasty fist fight in the stands that required intervention from riot police:

Par for the course for the Bucharest derby — one of the greatest in the game.


1 game: 11 yellow Cards, 6 red Cards and an arm bite

This was one of those matches you had to see to believe.

Petrolul and Gaz Metan faced off in a Romanian Liga 1 battle on Wednesday night with things heating up rather quickly. While it was a chippy and scrappy game throughout, the action crescendoed right around the 63-minute mark.

After just a shred of contact, a Gaz Metan player hit the ground with an apparent injury, which did not sit well with Petrolul. One of the Petrolul players repeatedly pulled on the arm and leg of the fallen Gaz Metan player to bring him back to life, creating a ruckus that resulted in six red cards and 11 yellow cards.

The star of this fight has to be Petrolul keeper Mircea Bornescu. After charging up the field to defend his teammate and restrain the Gaz Metan player who sparked the melee, Bornescu decided to take a bite out of his opponent’s shoulder, which got him punched in the face before he was shown a straight red card.

After the dust settled, a nine-man Petrolul side scored a late equalizer (thanks to 15 minutes of injury time) to earn a 1-1 draw vs. seven-man Gaz Metan.

Seems Romania is having all the fun these days.


Adrian Mutu wants to adopt Chinese baby found in sewage pipe?


Former Chelsea ace Adrian Mutu has always lived life in the fast lane. Apparently, the road has now taken the Romanian striker to a new calling.

In an interview with Romanian channel ProTV, Mutu  reportedly expressed his interest to adopt the baby rescued from a Chinese sewage pipe earlier this week. Mutu, a father of three, told the channel:

"I couldn’t figure out how to carry on living, how to eat my breakfast when I saw this story on TV. He’s a special child. When I saw the baby, I said, ‘I must adopt him, he has been sent to me by God.’

"Just look at this poor little fellow. He made such a strong impression on me. I told my wife we have to help him, we have to do everything we can.

"I never thought I would adopt a baby, I had no plan concerning that, but I just know: I have to help this one."

The 5-pound newborn boy, known only as “Baby 59” by the number of his hospital incubator, was miraculously found wedged in a pipe under a shared bathroom in Jinhua, China.

Mutu, who was released from the Premier League club in 2004 after testing positive for cocaine, said he discussed his plan with his wife, Consuelo, and will seek out adoption avenues. Currently, Romania is not on the list of 17 countries whose citizens can adopt from China.


Meanwhile, in the Romanian 5th league

Where else but a fifth league match would you be able to see something as incredible as this: the field medics’ vehicle of choice is a motorized wheelbarrow. It would be easy to imagine someone faking an injury just to get a chance to take a ride in this thing.

Making the spectacle that much better, take a look at the :27 mark to see what happens when the injured player tries to soak up the spotlight.

H/T /r/Soccer