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Hagi and Tugay take Galatasaray helm

Gheorghe Hagi has been named head coach of Galatasaray AŞ for the second time in his career, with the former Romania midfielder being assisted by Tugay Kerimoğlu.

Gheorghe Hagi pictured in 2004, at the start of his first spell as Galatasaray coach
Gheorghe Hagi pictured in 2004, at the start of his first spell as Galatasaray coach ©Getty Images

Former Romania captain and coach Gheorghe Hagi has taken charge of Galatasaray AŞ for a second time, replacing Frank Rijkaard who left the club on Tuesday after a disappointing run of results.

The 45-year-old Hagi returns to the Galatasaray hot seat he occupied during the 2004/05 campaign when he led the Istanbul team to a 5-1 Turkish Cup final triumph over city rivals Fenerbahçe SK. He will be assisted by former Turkey, Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers FC midfielder Tugay Kerimoğlu.

Hagi, a star of the 1994 FIFA World Cup where Romania reached the quarter-finals, spent the last five years of his playing career with Galatasaray. The attacking midfielder helped Cimbom win four Süper Lig titles, two Turkish Cups, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup before hanging up his boots in 2001.

The 125-times international initially shone for FC Steaua Bucureşti, getting to the 1989 European Champion Clubs' Cup final before moving on to Real Madrid CF, Brescia Calcio and FC Barcelona. He played at three World Cups and three UEFA European Championships.

The 'Maradona of the Carpathians' has endured mixed fortunes as a coach. Following brief spells at the Romania and Bursaspor helms, he oversaw Galatasaray's fortunes in 2004/05 and then had further short stints at FC Timişoara and Steaua.

Tugay, Hagi's assistant in his latest role, also has history at the Ali Sami Yen Stadyumu – having made 236 league appearances for Galatasaray between 1990 and 1999. As a midfield metronome, he later played for Rangers FC and Blackburn Rovers before retiring last year to help with the Galatasaray youth system.

Galatasaray, ninth in the Süper Lig, visit Fenerbahçe for the Istanbul derby on Sunday.