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Ilie Dumitrescu (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈli.e dumiˈtresku]; born 6 January 1969) 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.
Dumitrescu in 2010
|Full name||Ilie Dumitrescu|
|Date of birth||6 January 1969|
|Place of birth||Bucharest, Romania|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|1987–1988||→ Olt Scorniceşti (loan)||31||(1)|
|1995||→ Sevilla (loan)||13||(1)|
|1996||West Ham United||10||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Bucharest, Dumitrescu joined the Steaua Bucureşti Academy in 1977 at the age of 8 and made his way through the youth system. In April 1987, he made his debut in Liga I at the age of 18. Steaua, who had won the European Champions Cup the previous year, loaned Dumitrescu to FC Olt to gain more experience.
At FC Olt Dumitrescu was a regular starter, 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, famous Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu noticed him and predicted a fruitful career.
Returning from his loan, Dumitrescu became an important part of the Steaua Bucureşti squad, playing alongside big names such as Marius Lăcătuş and Gheorghe Hagi. After the 1990 World Cup in Italy Dumitrescu remained with Steaua becoming the side's captain. With Steaua, he won the championship in 1993 and played in the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners' Cup the same year.
Impressed by his performance at the America, the representatives of Tottenham Hotspur were keen to offer him a contract. The North London side paid £2.6 million for Dumitrescu. Just days after Dumitrescu becoming a Tottenham Hotspur player, 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.
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.
At the 1994 World Cup Dumitrescu played all the five games his team played in America. He was a key player in Romania's surprise 3-2 victory over previous runners-up Argentina, scoring the first two goals and assisting the third. His first goal came in the 11th minute and came direct via an eye-catching free kick from a wide position. Argentina equalized almost instantly from a penalty but Romania regained the lead minutes later through a well-worked passing move that enabled Dumitrescu to score from close range. The victory enabled Romania to progress to the quarter-finals; a first for the Romanian national team.
Career as coachEdit
Following a short-lived career as a player agent – he had established a company called "Sport & Business World" in 1998 –, Dumitrescu took on his first position as a manager in 2000 signing with Oţelul Galaţi from Romania's Divizia A. 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.
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 again went to Cyprus, this time as a coach 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. Having joined the club in February, he resigned in October.
After three 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".
- Steaua Bucharest
- Divizia A (4): 1986–87, 1988–89, 1992–93, 1993–94
- Cupa României (3): 1986–87, 1988–89, 1991–92
- Supercupa României (1): 1998
- European Cup Runner-up: 1988–89
Dumitrescu is an art lover and has his own art gallery in Bucharest.
- "Ilie Dumitrescu - Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
- "FIFA Player Statistics: Ilie DUMITRESCU - FIFA.com". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Football: Tottenham sign Dumitrescu for pounds 2.6m: Ardiles shows ambition by buying Romanian World Cup hero and chasing two Brazilians as Venables prepares for Latin test". The Independent. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Dumitrescu quits Romania role". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Ilie Dumitrescu". SteauaFC.com (in Romanian). Retrieved 2 January 2015.