Romania legend Gheorghe Hagi has become the latest fantasista to be honoured with a Golden Foot ‘Legends’ award.
Hagi, who is considered the greatest Romanian player of all time, had his footprints captured to be immortalised on ‘The Champions Promenade’ in Monte Carlo, as per tradition.
The Golden Foot is an annual international award ceremony and ‘Hall of Fame’ for football, honouring players who have made outstanding contributions to the game, hosted in Monaco on the seafront of the Principality.
On receiving the award, a delighted Hagi stated:
To get in this elite group, [containing] great players with great levels, is good. I’m Romanian, and the one Romanian player to get in this position, it’s very good.
I hope it’s a good example for the others [Romanian players] to work, to try to be the best – you never know.
Hagi becomes the latest fantasista ‘legend’ to receive this award, following in the – ahem –footsteps of former playmakers Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Zinedine Zidane, Gianni Rivera, Zico, Giancarlo Antognoni, Abedi Pele and Carlos Valderrama.
Number 10s who have won the event’s main annual honour – awarded to players still in action over the age of 28 – since its inception in 2003 are Roberto Baggio (the Golden Foot’s inaugural recipient), Alessandro Del Piero (2007), Ronaldinho (2009), Francesco Totti (2010) and Andres Iniesta (2014).