The UEFA Cup is merely a step for Shakhtar Donetsk, Mircea Lucescu declared after the Ukrainian football team won its first European trophy on Wednesday evening, defeating the German footballers of Werder Bremen. The success achieved on the “Sukru Saracoglu” Stadium of Istanbul will open a new era for the team of Donetsk, Lucescu hopes, after recently prolonging his contract with them. The new target of the Romanian footballer is to get in the Champions’ League quarterfinals, or even semi-finals.
“This first European trophy is unbelievable. It brought us major fulfillment, and I am extremely happy. We wish to do something for the Champions’ League, as well. This trophy will give us faith to struggle for the Champions’ League quarterfinals or even semi-finals. My purpose is to continue building this team and to make it even stronger than it is today. The Champions’ League will be the next goal of Eastern European teams. We have attended high-level games before, but the level of our championship (the Ukrainian Championship, editor’s note) was not that high. Now, I think things have slightly changed. Eastern European countries have a genuine chance to the Champions’ League, and we hope to win,” Mircea Lucescu declared, after his team was evaluated at approximately EUR 112 million by the website www.transfermarket.ro, and considered the most valuable of Eastern Europe.
After the match, the Turkish papers paid homage to the Romanian coach, whom they nicknamed “The Last Emperor.”
The daily paper Star named the article on this year’s UEFA Cup final: “Lucescu, King of Istanbul.” “The last UEFA Cup was dominated by our old friend, Lucescu,” Star announced.
“Lucescu’s fingerprint!” the Fanatik sports’ paper reported. “When he left Turkey, and overtook Shakhtar Donetsk in 2004, if anyone would have stated that this team would win a European Cup, perhaps that person would be truly laughed at. Mircea Lucescu and the team he created realized a historical achievement. Lucescu combined his experience with the dynamism of his averagely 23-year-old team, and signed an “Orange Revolution.” Actually, the Romanian coach not only signed it, but authored it, as well,” the article published by Fanatik outlines.
Mircea Sandu: “Lucescu’s victory is an important accomplishment for the romanian football”
The President of the Romanian Football Federation, Mircea Sandu declared on Wednesday that the fact that the UEFA Cup was won by Coach Mircea Lucescu and by fullback Razvan Rat is an important accomplishment for the Romanian football.
“It is an important accomplishment for the Romanian football, as two of our fellow countrymen have worked hard for this victory, and we cannot be indifferent. We can be there with a Romanian team, too, but we must work for it, too. Steaua had a chance at that time, yet they blew it, unfortunately,” the FRF President Mircea Sandu declared for GSP TV.
“It was a stupid final, with amazing results, yet the overall quality of the game was poor. The results were startling and highly awaited by all Romanians, not only by Ukrainians and Russians. Congratulations to Lucescu, to Rat and congratulations to us, Romanians, because we have such a great coach, a genuine value of Romanian football! On this occasion, we prove that we have a good coach school and a good footballers’ school, despite of our terrible poverty,” Dumitru Dragomir stated.