Mircea Lucescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈmirt͡ʃe̯a luˈt͡ʃesku]; born 29 July 1945) is a Romanian professional football manager and former player, who is currently in charge of Ukrainian Premier League club Dynamo Kyiv. He is one of the most decorated managers of all time.
Lucescu in 2017
|Full name||Mircea Lucescu|
|Date of birth||29 July 1945|
|Place of birth||Bucharest, Romania|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Dynamo Kyiv (manager)|
|1961–1963||Școala Sportivă 2 București|
|1965–1967||→ Știința București (loan)||39||(12)|
|2016–2017||Zenit Saint Petersburg|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
During his playing career, Lucescu won six Romanian league titles with hometown side Dinamo București and also had spells at Știința București and Corvinul Hunedoara. Internationally, he made 70 appearances for the Romania national team, captaining the nation at the 1970 FIFA World Cup.
Lucescu has coached various sides in Romania, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. He is well known for his twelve-year stint in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk, where he became the most successful coach in the team's history by winning eight Ukrainian Premier League titles, six Ukrainian Cups, seven Ukrainian Super Cups and the 2008–09 UEFA Cup. He also won trophies in Ukraine with rival Dynamo Kyiv, as well as Romanian league championships with Dinamo București and Rapid București, and Turkish Süper Lig titles with Galatasaray and Beşiktaş.
Lucescu was named Romania Coach of the Year in 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2014, and Ukraine Coach of the Year in 2006 and between 2008 and 2014. In 2013, he was awarded the Manager of the Decade award in Romania, and in 2015 became the fifth person to coach in 100 UEFA Champions League matches, joining the likes of Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti, Arsène Wenger and José Mourinho. He is also ranked second behind Ferguson in terms of official trophies won, with 37.
Romania, Italy and Galatasaray
After coaching the Romanian national team where he led the team to their first appearance at UEFA European Championship finals, Lucescu had a long career in Italy, where he coached several clubs such as Pisa, Brescia, Reggiana and Inter Milan. He then took charge of Turkish club Galatasaray, with whom he won the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in 2000. Under Lucescu's managership, Galatasaray reached the quarter-finals on the UEFA Champions League during the 2000–01 season. In the quarter-finals, they lost to Real Madrid. The same year, he lost the Turkish League title to rivals Fenerbahçe. The following year, Galatasaray qualified to the second phase of the Champions League and won the Turkish League title under his managership. Lucescu was sacked at the end of the season, despite winning the league championship, and was replaced by Fatih Terim.
Shortly after his departure from Galatasaray, in June 2002, Lucescu signed a contract with rivals Beşiktaş. It was a very important season for Beşiktaş as, in 2003, the reputable Turkish club was celebrating its 100th year since its foundation. They won the Turkish title, having only one loss and collecting 85 points – a record points tally in a single Süper Lig season.
The 2003–04 season started well for Lucescu and Beşiktaş. The team could not progress from a difficult Champions League group, but was able to get a ticket to the UEFA Cup by finishing third in its group – only to be knocked out by Valencia, who eventually went on to win the competition. At the beginning of the second half of the 2003–04 Süper Lig season, Beşiktaş were in the first place and eight points ahead of their rivals Fenerbahçe, who was in second. On 25 January 2004, Beşiktaş played against Samsunspor at home, where referee Cem Papila showed five red cards to Beşiktaş players. After this match, the team's performance declined drastically, and Lucescu could not stop the decline. He blamed the Turkish Football Federation for one-sided decisions by the referees. After a disastrous second half, Lucescu decided to leave Turkey claiming that his championship was stolen.
In May 2004, Lucescu joined Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk and led their rise to prominence in Ukraine the following years. His first trophy with the club came in the 2003–04 Ukrainian Cup, defeating Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2–0 in the final on 30 May. In his first full season with the club, he secured the 2004–05 Premier League title.
The following season, he secured both the Premier League and the Super Cup. He failed to win any trophies the following season, however, though he made up for it in the 2007–08 season, winning the Premier League title and the Ukrainian Cup. His only domestic success in the 2008–09 season came in the Super Cup, although he was able to guide Shakhtar to their first ever European trophy, winning the last UEFA Cup before it was renamed the UEFA Europa League. He won the final against Werder Bremen 2–1 after extra time.
The 2009–10 season saw Shakhtar regain the Premier League title. The 2010–11 season was very successful for Lucescu. He guided Shakhtar to a domestic treble, winning the Premier League, the Ukrainian Cup and the Super Cup. They also had their most successful Champions League campaign, reaching the quarter-final stage before being defeated by eventual winners Barcelona.
The following season saw Shakhtar retain their Premier League and Ukrainian Cup titles. This gave Lucescu his sixth Premier League and fourth Ukrainian Cup with the club. Shakhtar had a disappointing Champions League campaign, finishing in fourth place in their group. His son, Răzvan Lucescu, is a former goalkeeper who at several points managed Rapid București, a team his father had also previously managed. Coincidentally, Shakhtar and Rapid met in the group stage of the UEFA Cup, the duel was disputed in only one leg at Donetsk in November 2005 ending with 1–0 win for Rapid.
On 29 May 2009, Lucescu was granted the title "Honorary citizen of Donetsk" by the city council of Donetsk for "earning the UEFA Cup, development and popularization of the Ukrainian football, improvement of the Donetsk, Donetsk region and Ukraine authority in the world".
In December 2009, he turned down an offer to coach the Ukraine national team, his reason being to avoid another potential clash with his son, Răzvan, who then managed the Romania national team and could qualify for UEFA Euro 2012, which Ukraine was to host.
Lucescu has won the Coach of the Year award in Ukraine in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
He led Shakhtar into the semi-finals of Europa League during his last season in charge, being eliminated by defending champions and eventual winners Sevilla. He announced his resignation in early 2016, ending a 12-year period in charge of Shakhtar and becoming the club's greatest manager. In his last match in charge, he won the 2015–16 Ukrainian Cup after defeating Zorya Luhansk 2–0 in the final.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
On 24 May 2016, Lucescu agreed to a two-year deal with Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg, with an extension option for another year. He was dismissed roughly one year later, as Zenit failed to qualify for the Champions League after finishing third in the Russian Premier League.
Turkey national team
On 23 July 2020, Lucescu returned to Ukraine after signing a two-year contract with the main rival of his former club Shakhtar Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv. His spell started in a controversial way, as he attempted to resign from his position after only a couple of days. The reason behind his actions was that Dynamo Kyiv fans fiercely protested the decision to hire Lucescu because of his long-term spell at Shakhtar. Dynamo president Ihor Surkis initially told press that he knew nothing about the resignation, and later that day both sides confirmed that their cooperation will in fact continue.
On 20 October, in Dynamo Kyiv's opening Champions League match of the season against Juventus, Lucescu became the oldest manager to take charge of a game in the competition, at the age of 75 years and 83 days; The match ended in a 2–0 home loss. Lucescu secured his first league title with Dynamo Kyiv on 25 April, following a 5–0 victory against Inhulets.
Lucescu is known to be a very educated person. He learned six foreign languages at a young age: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian in addition to his native Romanian. As a coach in Romania, he was often cited as telling his players that going to the theatre or reading a book is far more beneficial than going to restaurants. He also pressured his players to go to university. His son, Răzvan Lucescu, was also a footballer, and is currently managing PAOK.
On 15 July 2009, Lucescu suffered an attack of pre-infarct angina, and was operated in an emergency hospital in Donetsk.
|Dinamo București||1963–64||Divizia A||2||0||–||2||0|
|Știința București (loan)||1965–66||Divizia B||–|
|Dinamo București||1989–90||Divizia A||1||0||–||1||0|
- As of match played 28 June 2021
|Romania||1 November 1981||2 October 1986||42||15||13||14||50||50||+0||35.71|
|Pisa||1 July 1990||11 March 1991||24||8||5||11||32||49||−17||33.33|
|Reggiana 1919||1 July 1996||25 November 1996||13||1||4||8||13||22||−9||7.69|
|Rapid București||1 July 1997||31 December 1998||57||41||11||5||122||42||+80||71.93|
|Inter Milan||1 January 1999||21 March 1999||17||4||4||9||26||26||+0||23.53|
|Rapid București||1 April 1999||30 June 2000||49||32||9||8||103||49||+54||65.31|
|Galatasaray||1 July 2000||30 June 2002||106||64||22||20||210||111||+99||60.38|
|Beşiktaş||1 July 2002||17 May 2004||89||53||19||17||162||98||+64||59.55|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||17 May 2004||24 May 2016||573||395||90||88||1,220||452||+768||68.94|
|Zenit Saint Petersburg||24 May 2016||28 May 2017||40||25||7||8||74||34||+40||62.50|
|Turkey||2 August 2017||11 February 2019||17||4||6||7||17||25||−8||23.53|
|Dynamo Kyiv||23 July 2020||Current||43||28||8||7||79||35||+44||65.12|
|Ukrainian Premier League||357||273||49||35||817||234|
|Ukrainian Super Cup||11||5||4||2||22||12|
- Liga II: 1979–80
- Süper Lig: 2002–03
- Ukrainian Premier League (8): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Ukrainian Cup (6): 2003–04, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2015–16
- Ukrainian Super Cup (7): 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- UEFA Cup: 2008–09
Zenit Saint Petersburg
- Romania Coach of the Year: 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014
- European Coach of the Year – Alf Ramsey Award: 2009
- Order of Merit (Ukraine) III degree (2006)
- Order of the Star of Romania (2009)
- Order of Merit (Ukraine) II degree (2009)
- Order of Merit (Ukraine) I degree (2011)
- Honorary Citizen of Donetsk
- List of UEFA Cup winning managers
- List of UEFA Super Cup winning managers
- List of longest managerial reigns in association football
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- "Mircea Lucescu". European Football. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
- Mircea Lucescu at National-Football-Teams.com
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- «Зенит» благодарит Мирчу Луческу за сотрудничество (in Russian). FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. 28 May 2017.
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- "Lucescu: "We were better". Retrieved 11 July 2016 – via YouTube.
- Луческу сочинил текст клубного гимна (in Russian). shakhtar.com (citing Газета «Сегодня»). 19 August 2011.
- "Mircea Lucescu a suferit un preinfarct la Doneţk!". GSP.
- "Mircea Lucescu, implicat într-un grav accident rutier. Antrenorul a suferit o contuzie toracică severă". antena3.ro.
- "Player stats". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
- "Thank you, Mister!". shakhtar.com. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
- "Mircea LUCESCU". romaniansoccer.ro.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Новости футбольного клуба "Шахтер" | Официальный сайт ФК "Шахтер" (Донецк)". shakhtar.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)