Dissatisfied with the way his team played in the last League I game (goalless draw against Gaz Metan Medias), Steaua owner Gigi Becali sacked coach Ilie Stan and brought back Mihai Stoichita. Stan was appointed Steaua coach on September 30, 2011, replacing Ronny Levy (the Israeli coach resigned after 1-1 against AEK Larnaca in Europa League). At that time Steaua was 9th in the League I rankings. With Ilie Stan at the helm, Steaua came back into the race for the title and managed to qualify for the last-32 stage of Europa League. Stan registered 9 wins, 4 draws and 2 defeats in League I. Mihai Stoichita previously coached Steaua in 1997-1998 and 2009-2010, winning the title in 1998. “It’s a surprising move. Gigi Becali told me he cancelled the contract with Ilie and asked me if I agree taking over Steaua. For me the ties with Steaua are sentimental, not material. It’s a challenge; we didn’t have much to talk about. We agreed on the same goal: winning the title. I can’t do miracles but I’ll finish Ilie’s work. The team seems very good. If only it weren’t for the injury problems. How could Becali’s phone call not gladden me? I had other proposals but Steaua is Steaua and is more important than anything,” Mihai Stoichita stated.