Player Profile: Illie Dumitrescu
Tom the Tottenham fan profiles one of Spurs’ forgotten heroes.
It pains me to say it, but Tottenham have never really hit the big time with me as a fan. My older Lillywhite friends tell me that we used to win European trophies (1963 Cup Winners Cup, 1972 UEFA Cup) and that we always had a good cup run in years ending in a one.
More recently though, accolades have been a little harder to come by, but I think Spurs do have some outstanding achievements. We are exceptional in the Milk Cup. We love buying average players for £15m. And we adore acquiring the oddballs of European football. Personal favourites include Nicola Berti, Willem Korsten, Moussa Saib, Jose Dominguez and the star of the wolf-pack, Ilie Dumitrescu.
At the outset the Romanian international looked like a promising acquisition. Following a glittering performance at the 1994 World Cup in U.S.A, Spurs splashed the cash (nothing changes) on the diminutive left-sided midfielder.
At international level Dumitrescu was extremely successful, scoring 22 goals in 63 appearances, alongside greats like Georgia Hagi and Florin Răducioiu. Unfortunately at club level, his third leg got the better of him.
Within days of signing for Spurs, Dumitrescu was splashed all over the News of the World with accusations that he was chasing prostitutes. Perhaps one of Piers Morgan’s lesser known targets, but nevertheless a blow to all those at White Hart Lane hoping he would add to the formidable attacking line-up of Klinsmann, Sheringham and Dozzell.
Maybe it was because Piers Morgan is an Arsenal fan? Or maybe it was just a good tabloid scoop? Either way, his Spurs career never really got going, and he was loaned out to Sevilla within weeks. He never quite recovered the glittering form shown in the World Cup and another name was added to the Spurs “could have been” wall-of-fame.
Dumitrescu has bounced back though and make no mistake about that. He currently manages Greek club side Panthrakikos (no, that’s not Panathanaikos) and he’s set-up his own sports marketing company:http://www.iliedumitrescu.ro/. Put that in your pipe Piers. Who wants to sit next to Cheryl Cole all day when you could be working two jobs and wearing a 1980s suit?
We hope to see him back at White Hart Lane soon, celebrating success with our current European misfits. That’s if he can spare the time away from that beautiful portfolio on his desk.
For those of you who doubt he was ever a great player, here’s a video of Dumitrescu in action against Wales – no one fires it over the bar quite as well.
- It turns out he was totally innocent of all the solicitation claims against him.Tags: Illie Dumitrescu, Tottenham Hotspur
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