Back to 1988, Sparta and Steaua met for the first time in an official match. It was the first round of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup (actual Champions League). Considered Romania’s best footballer of all time, Gheorghe Hagi remembered about the match he played against Sparta Prague 28 years ago.
“Of course I remember. We beat them 5-1. They took the lead. They scored the opener quite fast. Sparta had a very good team. I think 7 or 8 players were in the Czechoslovakia’s national team, which was a good team back them. But we also! We had a fantastic team. We were also in the national team. Around 7-8 players as well. Basically, then it was actually a Czechoslovakia vs Romania match. The preview of that match was set to a tight match. Sparta was very offensive, they were the best scorers from their championship. Maybe we were a bit in advantage because of our performances in the past years, a final and a semi-final.
Hagi scored twice in that match and he remembers his goals:
“I remember my goals perfectly. For my first one, I dribbled their goalkeeper and second it was from a free kick. I scored in the second leg as well, 2-2 at Bucharest.”
Hagi on today’s Czech football:
“Czech football has the same characteristics as back then. The footballers have technic, they have strength. There will be a tight match. Back then we were faster than them. We had good speed in our attacks and this is why we beat them.”
Steaua reached the final of the competition in that season but lost against AC Milan, 4-0.