Steaua opt for Dumitrescu after Hagi refusal
Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday appointed former Romanian international Ilie Dumitrescu as their new coach after former star Gheorghe Hagi turned down the chance to replace Victor Piturca, who resigned on Sunday.
"He (Dumitrescu) will not be my employee. He does not want the club's money. He told me simply - 'I am coming but money does not interest me. I just want respect,'" club owner Gigi Becali told broadcaster Realitatea TV.
It was a breakdown in relations with Becali which caused Piturca to throw in the towel - the 11th coach to leave in seven years - and Hagi himself had a run-in with Becali when he stepped down after just three months in the job in 2007.
Hagi - who along with Dumitrescu was part of the Romanian team that reached the 1994 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals - earlier said that was not why he had said no this time, however.
"I was contacted over the past few days by several people but my response was firm - I am not moving. I want to pursue my project to put in place a football academy," Hagi, 45, told a press conference. "Coaching Steaua is a challenge for anyone and I would like to go back there some day," said Hagi.
He said at the time of his 2007 stewardship: "I couldn't continue then - I had some very tough times. Every time we lost I got the blame. And when we won it was thanks to him (Becali)."