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Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Hagi takes an all-star bow
Hakan Mild and Gheorghe Hagi, Sweden v Romania, 1994 World Cup Finals
Hagi's Romania reached the quarter-finals of USA 94
Stars of world football, past and present, have descended on Bucharest for Gheorghe Hagi's farewell game.

The testimonial on Tuesday, 24 April, brings the curtain down on the colourful career of Romania's soccer king.

Those taking part include Hagi's former Real Madrid teammates Emilio Butrageno and Manuel Sanchis, Cameroon World Cup star Roger Milla and Mexico's Hugo Sanchez.

Others include Brazilians Mario Jardel and Dunga, ex-Barcelona stars Ronald Koeman and Martin Ferrer, Montenegro's Dejan Savicevic and Robert Prosinecki of Croatia

Roberto Baggio of Italy and Portuguese legend Eusebio are also expected to attend.

Michel Platini
Platini: Praise for Hagi
French midfield great Michel Platini, also in town for the match, told reporters: "Hagi is a player with a lot of character. He always did his best for Romania. He's brilliant."

Mircea Lucescu, coach at Galatasaray, where the 36-year-old has played for the last four seasons, said: "He dominated Romanian soccer for 20 years.

Lucescu, who was also Hagi's coach when he debuted for Romania as a 17-year-old, added: "Let's hope the stadium will be full, and there will not be too many tears."

Best World Cup performance

Hagi made his name with Steaua Bucharest, which he helped to the European Super Cup in 1987 and the Champions Cup final in 1988.

The Romanian star has captained Romania for the past decade.

In 1994, he helped them reach the last eight of the World Cup Finals in America, where they lost to Sweden.

Hagi retired from the national team after Euro 2000, after 125 appearances and 35 goals in a 17-year international career.

Arsenal's Lee Dixon and Gheorghe Hagi of Galatasaray
Hagi helped Galatasaray to defeat Arsenal
In 1990, he moved to Real Madrid where he won the Spanish Cup three years later. He also played for Barcelona and Brescia before joining Galatasaray.

Last year, he led the Istanbul club to victory in the Uefa Cup final against Arsenal but was also sent off.

Galatasaray also beat Real Madrid to win the Super Cup and did the Turkish league and cup double.

They went out his year's Champions League at the quarter-final stage to Real Madrid.

Hagi's farewell match will feature a "dream team" of top Romanian names against players from the foreign clubs for which he has played.

Among the Romanians are Hagi's Galatasaray teammate and brother-in-law Gheorghe Popescu, as well as Dan Petrescu of Southampton and Verona's Adrian Mutu.

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See also:

18 Apr 01 |  Champions League
Real brush aside Galatasaray
03 Apr 01 |  Champions League
Galatasaray upset Real Madrid
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