The AGONAsport Profile: Razvan Lucescu
AGONAsport.com takes a look at who is PAOK’s new head coach, Razvan Lucescu.
Lucescu was born on February 17th, 1969 in Bucharest, Romania and was the son of Mircea Lucescu, a soccer legend in his home country. Razvan’s playing career did not follow his father’s steps and after playing for numerous teams as a goalkeeper in the Romanian 1st Division, he decided to end his career at the age of 34.
EARLY COACHING DAYS
Lucescu started his post-playing career as a technical director, but then decided to pursue a coaching career. After a year at Brasov, he took charge of Rapid Bucuresti. During his 3-year spell at Rapid Bucuresti, Lucescu managed to win the Romanian Cup on two occasions and led his team to a third, second, and fourth place finish in the league. Moreover, he led Rapid to the quarterfinals of the 2006 UEFA Cup.
In 2007, he left Rapid Bucuresti and despite having numerous offers from well known clubs, he returned to Brasov, who had been relegated to the Romanian 2nd division. In his 2-year stay with the club, he led Brasov to promotion back to the Romanian Liga I.
THE ROMANIAN NATIONAL TEAM
In 2009, Lucescu was handed the greatest challenge of his career when the Romanian Football Federation named him the new head coach of his country’s national team. He remained at that position for 2 years and although Romania were close to ensuring participation in Euro 2012, Lucescu felt that the Federation had lost faith in him and decided to resign from his position.
SECOND SPELL WITH RAPID BUCURESTI
Shortly after his departure from the Romanian National Team, he returned to Rapid Bucuresti and led his side to the group stages of Europa League. Rapid finished fourth in the league and lost in the Cup final to local city rivals Dinamo Bucuresti.
FROM QATAR TO XANTHI
In May 2012, he moved to Asia and signed a two year contract with El Jaish from Qatar. During his first season, he won the Cup and took his team to the AFC Champions League knockout stages before departing in January 2014.
Two months later, he signed with Petrolul Ploiesti however, his spell turned out to be a short one as he left 6 months into the job. Petrolul finished 3rd in the league and were eliminated in the semifinals of the Romanian Cup.
On September 24th, 2014, Lucescu came to Greece for Xanthi. A year later, Xanthi managed to reached the Greek Cup final for the first time in club history, losing in the end to Olympiacos. One year later, Lucescu helped Xanthi avoid relegation as things did not go as expected for the Thracian side.
However, last season Xanthi were back on track as they fought for a spot in the Superleague playoffs finishing in 6th place in the league. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Cup by the eventual winners, PAOK.
Despite Xanthi’s desire to keep Lucescu in charge, the Romanian manager decided to leave the club in search of a new career challenge. The Romanian did not hesitate to accept PAOK’s offer to replace Aleksandar Stanojevic and the 48-year old coach will look to lead PAOK to a successful season in both Greece and Europe.