Country’s most powerful club insists they should be champions after late rule change handed novices maiden Liga 1 title
THE legendary Gheorghe Hagi led Viitorul to a historic first title — just eight years after the club was formed.
A 1-0 win over FC Cluj saw the club confirmed as champions.
However, FCSB — formerly Steaua Bucharest — have sensationally confirmed they will appeal the decision to league’s decision, as the two sides finished level on 44 points.
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The Romanian football governing body’s official website confirmed Viitorul were Liga 1 champions by virtue of a better head-to-head record during the play-off phase of the season.
But, FCSB owner, Gigi Becali has vowed to appeal the decision, claiming a better record during the initial phase of the season means the league should rightfully be theirs.
He said: “We’re first, the four games [between the clubs] were in our favour.
“We’re the champions, 100 per cent. We will go to CAS in Lausanne and they will give us the trophy.”
Hagi, who founded Viitorul in 2009 following an acrimonious departure from Steaua insisted the club was just bitter at finishing second.
He insisted: “Even though we know some are upset, we are happy.
“The big must behave like big men. They must know how to lose.”
Hagi is regarded as one of the greatest players ever and was even nicknamed ‘Maradona of the Carpathians.”
He starred for Romania at three World Cups and played for Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But, despite his success as a player, the achievement of winning the title with Viitorul — whose name means ‘Future’ — is not lost on Hagi.
And what makes is even more special is that the team was formed predominantly from players who graduated from the academy — and just one non-Romanian player in their squad.
He added: “I’m proud, happy, because this academy and this great team, these children, have fought with their last ounce of energy and achieved the impossible!
“We’re the youngest champions in Europe.
“Now this city has entered the history of Romanian football. I’ve been investing in young people and that’s one of my greatest qualities.
“I’m happy now that I did the right thing.”