Romanian club FC Dinamo Bucuresti have sacked coach Cornel Dinu following their elimination from the UEFA Champions League.
Dinu has been associated with the club as a player and a coach for over 20 years and has enjoyed several domestic successes in his time at the Dinamo stadium. As a coach he steered the capital outfit to two championship titles, in 1999/00 and 2001/02, and two FA Cup victories in 1999/00 and 2000/01, and was thought of as a true symbol of the club.
Title in jeopardy
The 54-year-old became general manager in the summer of 2001 but, five rounds before the end of last season, when Dinamo were in danger of throwing the title away, he was asked to take up his coaching role once more and work alongside the then coach, Ion Marin.
Having helped Dinamo clinch the Divizia A title, Dinu stayed on as both general manager and coach until a replacement for Marin was found in the shape of Florin Marin. Marin only lasted 29 days at the helm before stepping down, and Dinu was handed the managerial reigns again, with the Dinamo chiefs stipulating that anything less than a place in the place in the group stages of the forthcoming Champions League would be a disaster.
The club remained true to their word, and when Dinamo were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Belgium's Club Brugge KV in the Champions League second qualifying round, Dinu was given his marching orders. A new coach is expected to be named on Monday, but Dinu's assistant, Cornel Talnar, will take charge of the Dinamo team for their Super Cup match against city rivals FC Rapid Bucuresti on Sunday.
"The Dinamo Bucuresti board decided to fire Cornel Dinu as coach because of the team's poor performance," the club said in a statement on Friday.
Hagi rules himself out
While Dinu looks certain to stay on as general manager, Dinamo's first choice to fill his shoes was former international playmaker Gheorghe Hagi. However, Hagi is believed to have turned down the club's offer after lengthy negotiations last night. "I have played for [FC] Steaua Bucuresti and all my life I'll be a Steaua fan," Hagi said. "I couldn't work for Dinamo and have feelings for Steaua."
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