Anghel Iordănescu

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Anghel Iordănescu
Anghel Iordănescu.jpg
Iordănescu in 2008
Personal information
Date of birth (1950-05-04) 4 May 1950 (age 68)
Place of birth Bucharest, Romania
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1962–1968 Steaua București
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1982 Steaua București 317 (155)
1982–1984 OFI Crete 54 (7)
1986 Steaua București 1 (0)
Total 371 (162)
National team
1971–1981[1] Romania 57 (21)
Teams managed
1984–1986 Steaua București (assistant)
1986–1990 Steaua București
1990–1992 Anorthosis Famagusta
1992–1993 Steaua București
1993–1998 Romania
1998–1999 Greece
1999–2000 Al-Hilal
2000 Rapid București
2001–2002 Al Ain
2002–2004 Romania
2005–2006 Al Ittihad
2006 Al Ain
2014–2016 Romania
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Anghel Iordănescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈaŋɡel jordəˈnesku]; born 4 May 1950), also known as "Tata Puiu", is a Romanian former footballer and former manager of the Romania national team, who played as a forward. In 2007, Iordănescu retired from football, and the following February, after his predecessor resigned, he became a member of the Romanian Senate, sitting on the Social Democratic Party benches. On 26 December 2011, he became an independent senator, affiliated to the National Union for the Progress of Romania.[2] His son, Edward Iordănescu, is also a former footballer and current manager.[3][4]

Playing career[edit]

One of Steaua București's greatest players, Iordănescu was a forward or attacking midfielder with a well-developed scoring technique and uncommon dribbling ability. He was also well known for his vision and set-piece ability. In Romania, he played only for Steaua, a team he joined as a youth in 1962, aged 12. Six years later, he made his debut for the first team, followed by his first appearance for the Romania national team in 1971. During this period, he scored 155 goals, becoming the team's highest ever goalscorer.

Iordănescu won two league championships (in 1976 and 1978) and four Cupa Romaniei (in 1970, 1971, 1976, and 1979). In 1981–82, he was Divizia A's top goalscorer.

In 1982, aged 32, Iordănescu left Romania to play for OFI Crete in Greece under head coach Les Shannon, but returned to Steaua two years later to become the club's assistant manager. Together with Emerich Jenei, then head coach, he won the championship in 1985 and helped lead the team to its European Cup triumph in 1986, playing as a substitute in the final against Barcelona.[5]

International goals[edit]

Romania's goal tally first.

Coaching career[edit]

Emerich Jenei was appointed as Romania's manager in the summer of 1986, leaving Iordănescu as Steaua's new head coach. From his new position, he led his side to victory in three championships (1987, 1988 and 1989) as well as three Cupa Romaniei in the same years. At international level, Steaua and Iordănescu reached the European Cup semi-final in 1988 and the final one year later.

In 1990, he left Steaua for the second time as he signed a two-year contract with Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta. After being released from his contract, he returned to Steaua in 1992 to lead the club to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals in 1993, and then a new league championship.

In the summer of 1993, he was asked to replace Cornel Dinu as Romania's coach and managed to lead the team to qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where Romania reached the quarter-finals, the best-ever performance of Romanian football at the national team level. He continued as Romania's coach after the World Cup and led the team to a new qualification, for UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup, where Romania reached the knockout stage as winners of Group G.

However, although he had led the team to a new qualification for a World Cup, Iordănescu was harshly criticized by the media, with some journalists accusing him of the low level of the team during the process. After losing against Croatia in the second round of the 1998 World Cup, he resigned and took over the managerial position of Greece, from where he would be sacked in 1999 after Greece failed to qualify for Euro 2000.

In the 1999–2000 season, Iordănescu was appointed head coach of Saudi club Al-Hilal, where he won the Saudi Crown Prince Cup and the Asian Club Championship (the forerunner to the AFC Champions League).[6] Despite these performances, he left the club to lead Rapid București. He led Rapid to the first round of the 2000–01 UEFA Cup, losing 1–0 on aggregate to eventual winners Liverpool.[7] However, he was sacked after only three months, after which he signed with Emirati club Al Ain, guiding them to UAE President's Cup title.[8]

After Romania failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, Iordănescu was asked to replace Gheorghe Hagi, thereby becoming the national football team's coach for the second time. His main objective was to qualify the team for Euro 2004, but failed to do so. Saying that there was no one else both better than he and available to take charge of the national team, the Romanian Football Federation gave him credit for the 2006 World Cup qualifying stage, but after a poor performance away against Armenia, he was finally sacked.

After his second stint as Romania's coach, Iordănescu returned to Saudi Arabia to manage Al-Ittihad, with whom he won his second AFC Champions League (in 2005) and the Arab Champions League, but one year later was sacked after drawing with Al-Ettifaq.[9] Just as the 2006–07 UAE League season began, Iordănescu returned to coach Al Ain for a few months before announcing his retirement from professional football.

In October 2014, Iordănescu came out of retirement to take charge of Romania for a third time.[10] On 27 June 2016, he resigned as Romania coach after an unsuccessful Euro 2016 finals campaign, finishing last place in Group A with just one point earned, from a 1–1 draw with Switzerland. [11]

Career honours[edit]