Gheorghe Hagi

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Gheorghe Hagi (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈɡe̯orɡe ˈhad͡ʒi]; born February 5, 1965 in Săcele), is a former Romanian football player. He was famous for his passing, close control, long shots and was regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s. Galatasaray fans called him 'Kral'(The King) [1]

Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", he is considered a hero in his homeland as well as in Turkey. He has won his country's "Player of the Year" award six times, and is regarded as one of the best football players of the 20th century.[2][3]

He played for the Romanian national team in three World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 1998, as well as in three European Football Championships in 1984, 1996 and 2000. He won a total of 125 caps for Romania, being ranked second after Dorinel Munteanu, and scored 35 goals, being ranked first.

In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Romania by the Romanian Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.[4] Hagi is one of the few footballers to have played for both the Spanish rival clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

In March 2004, he was named among the top 125 living footballers by Pelé.

In a 2006 poll conducted by Romanian Television to identify the "greatest Romanians of all time", Hagi came in 15th.

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