Ilie Dumitrescu

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Ilie Dumitrescu
Ilie Dumitrescu.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ilie Dumitrescu
Date of birth (1969-01-06) 6 January 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Bucharest, Romania
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1977–1986 Steaua Bucureşti
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1994 Steaua Bucureşti 165 (71)
1987–1988 Olt Scorniceşti (loan) 31 (1)
1994–1995 Tottenham Hotspur 18 (4)
1995 Sevilla (loan) 13 (1)
1996 West Ham United 10 (0)
1996–1997 América 14 (1)
1997–1998 Atlante 33 (3)
1998 Steaua Bucureşti 7 (3)
Total 284 (84)
National team
1989–1998[1] Romania 62 (20)
Teams managed
2000–2001 Oţelul Galaţi
2001 Braşov
2001–2002 Alki Larnaca
2002 Romania U–21
2002–2003 Bacău
2003–2004 Apollon Limassol
2004 AEK Athens
2005 Egaleo
2005 Akratitos
2005–2006 Kallithea
2006 PAOK Thessaloniki
2009 Panthrakikos
2010 Steaua Bucureşti
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ilie Dumitrescu (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈli.e dumiˈtresku]; born 6 January 1969 in Bucharest) is a Romanian former football player and coach, who was last manager of Steaua Bucureşti. A tricky forward, he shot to fame when his frontline partnership with Gheorghe Hagi and Florin Răducioiu led the Romania national team to the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal, eliminating Argentina en route.[2]

Football career[edit]

Dumitrescu joined the Steaua Bucureşti Academy in 1977 at the age of 8, making his way through all the youth teams and play for the first squad in April 1987. Even now he is renowned as the best player Steaua Bucureşti Academy ever produced along with Dan Petrescu.

After making his debut in Divizia A he is loaned to FC Olt to gain more experience. At Steaua, a team which won the European Cup in the previous year was no room for an 18-year-old. But at FC Olt was a different story, as Dumitrescu did catch the first eleven from the very beginning, playing as left full back. This was not, however, a position he enjoyed, as he was a creative player. During his time with FC Olt, Mircea Lucescu the famous Romanian coach noticed him and predicted a fruitful career.

It was just like Lucescu said. Once returned to Steaua Bucureşti, full with talent and ambition, he makes himself way to the first eleven at the age of only 19, becoming an important part of the squad, playing alongside big names such as Marius Lăcătuş and Gheorghe Hagi.

In 1989 he makes debut for Romania, being used as a substitute in a game against Greece. From there the 1990 FIFA World Cup was only one step away, an opportunity he could not miss.

Despite playing two games in Italy, Dumitrescu's services are not requested by a Western European club and he returned to play for his old team and, as captain, leads it to winning the championship in 1993 and playing in the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners' Cup in the same year.

1994 was a World Cup year and Dumitrescu was there, playing all the five games his team played in America and scoring two very important goals against Argentina in their famous 3–2 victory. The first after 11 minutes, a stunning free kick from a tight angle curled over the Argentine goal keeper. Minutes later Argentina had drew level through a penalty converted by Batistuta but slick passing in a counter-attack with Hagi resulted in another fine goal for Dumitrescu just 7 minutes after his first. Dumitrescu was also instrumental in the 3rd goal. He played the ball after a great run to Hagi who scored a vital goal which proved to be the winner. His performance opened the doors to the quarter-finals, the best performance Romania ever gained.

Impressed by his performance in America, the representatives of Tottenham Hotspur were keen to offer him a contract. The North London side paid £2.6 million for Dumitrescu.[1]

Just days after becoming a Tottenham Hotspur player, Dumitrescu found his name involved in a scandal. The British tabloid newspaper News of the World wrote an article about Dumitrescu chasing the services of prostitutes. The story later proved to be untrue, but Tottenham were unwilling to play Dumitrescu during the scandal and he was loaned out to Sevilla FC, with the La Liga side given an option to buy him during the loan.

Dumitrescu had a good time in Southern Spain but the club baulked at the transfer fee Tottenham demanded. Dumitrescu returned to England.

After playing in the first half of the 1995 – 96 Premiership season and failing to impress, Dumitrescu was sold to West Ham United, where Harry Redknapp wanted to make him the player he once was. Dumitrescu played only 10 games before encountering problems with his work permit. His contract with West Ham was broken, leaving him free agent.

In the summer of 1996 he signed a contract with Club América in Mexico and then after one year he switched to their rivals Atlante F.C..

After two years in Mexico, Dumitrescu returned to Steaua Bucureşti in 1998. Halfway through the season he announced his retirement as a professional player aged only 29.

Career as player agent[edit]

In 1998 he established a company called Sport & Business World, as he was keen to start a new career as a player agent. It was however a very short career without any relevant success.

Career as coach[edit]

In 2000 he was made manager of Oţelul Galaţi, from Romania's Divizia A. It was the beginning of a new career for Dumitrescu. From Galaţi he moved to FC Braşov and then Cypriot side Alki Larnaca in 2001–02. Here he won promotion to the Cypriot First Division and his team started the season very well, beating some of the best sides in Cyprus. However at the end of the season his team finished 11th. He then took the head coach role of the Romanian Under 21 side. But Dumitrescu lasted only 6 weeks in the role [2].

Subsequently he took control of FCM Bacău in Divizia A. However, after a disappointing season, Dumitrescu resigned in May 2003, leaving FCM Bacău in the relegation zone. Dumitrescu went again to Cyprus, this time for Apollon Limassol. By playing the Italian defensive system catenaccio, they won 12 of their first 13 matches and Dumitrescu was named the best manager in Cyprus for the year 2004. Dumitrescu soon moved on to his 6th club side, being named manager of the Greek side AEK Athens FC in February 2004.

His roving managerial career continued as he left AEK to join Egaleo, also from the Greek Super League. The next three years found him at three other Greek clubs: Akratitos, Kallithea and PAOK. Dumitrescu was criticised for his style of play by PAOK fans. Despite only joining the club in February, he resigned in October.

After 3 years without a club he became manager of Panthrakikos in May 2009, but was sacked after only one game. On 11 August 2010 he returned to Romania to take the manager post at Steaua Bucureşti only to leave the post six weeks later, citing "I can't stay somewhere I'm not wanted,".

Dumitrescu had managed 13 teams in only 9 years.

Trivia[edit]

Dumitrescu is an art lover and has his own art gallery in Bucharest.

References[edit]

External links[edit]