One of the greatest European players to ever lace up a pair of football boots has revealed that Newcastle United once tried to sign him. Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi made the interesting remark while talking to The Games Gone Crazy when asked if he ever considered playing in England. The comments from Hagi will lead Newcastle fans to ask what could have been.
"I had the chance to join Newcastle when Kevin Keegan was manager and the deal nearly happened. But it was not to be."
The Premier League could be a much different place had Hagi signed for Keegan’s side back in the 90s. It was in the famous 1995/96 when the Toon Army pushed Manchester United all the way to the end, with Keegan going on TV to make the now infamous outburst on Sky Sports.
His side had just beaten Leeds United 1-0 at Elland Road, but after being questioned about Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments about teams trying harder against them, Keegan couldn’t contain his frustration any longer.
Newcastle finished four points behind Manchester United in the end, drawing the final two games of the season. Imagine the difference that a player of Hagi’s international experience could have made to that side.
The star of the 1994 World Cup would have joined such players as David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla and Peter Beardsley and could have been that missing little piece of magic that turned Newcastle United from title contenders into Premier League champions.
During the run in Newcastle lost crucial games against Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal and the legendary 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. The inclusion of Hagi into the side could have given Keegan’s side the extra few points needed to close the gap on Fergie’s team.
Hagi is classed as one of the greatest players of all-time, and would have been the most-famous Romanian’s to grace the Premier League. He played for Italian side Brescia between 1992 and 94, before moving to Barcelona. There is no reason that Newcastle couldn’t have lured the talismanic playmaker to St James’ Park.
Unfortunately, he went on to play for two seasons in Spain before making 132 appearances for Galatasaray. After his time at Brescia the midfielder scored 66 goals in 168 appearances, imagine how different lift could have been if the Geordies fans could have witnessed some of those epic strikes in the famous black and white stripes.I h