Ilie Dumitrescu (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈli.e dumiˈtresku]; born 6 January 1969) is a Romanian former footballer.

SIR Ilie Dumitrescu
Dumitrescu in 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1969-01-06) 6 January 1969 (age 54)
Place of birth Bucharest, Romania
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Position(s) Winger / Forward
Youth career
1977–1986 Steaua București
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1994 Steaua București 165 (71)
1987–1988Olt Scorniceşti (loan) 31 (1)
1994–1995 Tottenham Hotspur 18 (4)
1995Sevilla (loan) 13 (1)
1996 West Ham United 10 (0)
1996–1997 América 14 (1)
1997–1998 Atlante 33 (3)
1998 Steaua București 7 (3)
Total 284 (84)
International career
1989–1998[1] Romania 62 (20)
Managerial career
2000–2001 Oţelul Galaţi
2001 Braşov
2001–2002 Alki Larnaca
2002 Romania U–21
2002–2003 FCM Bacău
2003–2004 Apollon Limassol
2004 AEK Athens
2005 Egaleo
2005 Akratitos
2005–2006 Kallithea
2006 PAOK
2009 Panthrakikos
2010 Steaua București
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

As a player, he was a winger who notably played in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, and in La Liga with Sevilla. He began and finished his career with Steaua București, had spells in Mexico with América and Atlante and had a brief loan spell with Olt Scorniceşti during the early stages of his career. He initially 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. In eliminating Argentina en route, Dumitrescu scored twice in a 3–2 win, despite playing in an unfamiliar striker position with Răducioiu unavailable.[2] Overall he was capped 62 times, scoring 20 goals and was also present at World Cup 90 and World Cup 98.

Following retirement, Dumitrescu has had an extensive career as a manager in his native country as well as Greece and Cyprus, with a spells at Oţelul Galaţi, Braşov, Alki Larnaca, Romania U–21, FCM Bacău, Apollon Limassol, AEK Athens, Egaleo, Akratitos, Kallithea, PAOK, Panthrakikos, and Steaua București.

Club career edit

Born in Bucharest, Dumitrescu joined the Steaua București 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.[citation needed]

Returning from his loan, Dumitrescu became an important part of the Steaua București squad, playing alongside big names such as Marius Lăcătuş and Gheorghe Hagi. After the 1990 World Cup in Italy, the best of his club teammates got contracts abroad, but Dumitrescu remained with Steaua and became the side's captain. With Steaua, he won the Romanian Cup in 1992, the championship in 1993 and played in the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners' Cup the same year.

Impressed by his performance at the USA World Cup in 1994, the representatives of Tottenham Hotspur were keen to offer him a contract. The North London side paid £2.6 million for Dumitrescu.[3] He was later loaned out to Sevilla FC, with the La Liga side given an option to buy him during the loan.[citation needed]

Dumitrescu had a good time in southern Spain but the club baulked at the transfer fee Tottenham demanded.[citation needed] 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 before switching to their rivals Atlante F.C. a year later.

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

International career edit

In 1989, Ilie Dumitrescu made his debut for Romania, being used as a substitute in a game against Greece. Dumitrescu was part of the Romanian squad at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

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.

Managerial career edit

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 Brașov 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.[4]

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.[citation needed] 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.[5]

He ended his coaching career at the same team he ended his playing career, FC Steaua. He had spent only 40 days there, and resigned saying that he does not want to stay where he is not wanted.[6]

Personal life edit

After leaving Steaua, he no longer considered any coaching jobs, and focused on running his business, a high-class restaurant in the centre of Bucharest, in which he had invested some of the money earned in his sports career,[7] has been a regular guest commentator for television stations covering football matches,[8] and endorsed a sports bets company.[9]

Honours edit

Player edit

Club edit

Steaua Bucharest[10]

Individual edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sir Ilie Dumitrescu – Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. ^ "FIFA Player Statistics: Ilie DUMITRESCU -". Archived from the original on 15 April 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Dumitrescu quits Romania role". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Dumitrescu a fost demis de la Panthrakikos după o singura etapă", Gazeta Sporturilor (in Romanian), 27 August 2009, retrieved 3 October 2020
  6. ^ "Ilie Dumitrescu a rezistat 40 de zile la Steaua, a 13-a echipă din cariera de antrenor", Mediafax (in Romanian), 21 September 2010, retrieved 3 October 2020
  7. ^ ""Nu mai mâncasem o vafă de 20 de ani!". Ilie Dumitrescu a povestit cum a ajuns să investească în Centrul Vechi", (in Romanian), 6 January 2019, retrieved 3 October 2020
  8. ^ "Spectaculoasa carieră a lui Ilie Dumitrescu la Londra: favorit al tribunelor, BMW la scară și aventuri "interzise"", The Playmaker (in Romanian), 4 September 2019, retrieved 5 October 2020
  9. ^ "Ilie Dumitrescu – Ambasador UNIBET în România!", GSP (in Romanian), 10 March 2016, retrieved 5 October 2020
  10. ^ a b "Ilie Dumitrescu". (in Romanian). Retrieved 2 January 2015.

External links edit