5. Mircea Lucescu
Position: Right wing
Born in war-torn Bucharest shortly after the second World War, Mircea Lucescu’s first memories are of kicking around a garbage filled sock in the city’s poverty-stricken streets, a common substitute for a ball for children in the locality. Signed by Dinamo Bucuresti of the Romanian League at the age of 18, Mircea’s promising career was briefly halted due to his academic commitments at the University of Bucharest. Subsequently, the youngster was loaned off to a student club plying its trade in the second division. However, such was the unquestionable talent of Lucescu that he received a national call-up despite not having played a game in the Romanian First Division.
Recognizing his talent, Dinamo called him back and the right winger went on to win seven Romanian League titles before moving on to Corvinul Hunedoara where he won another Romanian Cup. Several European clubs desired to secure his services but the policies of the Communist regime of Romania made a move abroad impossible.
In an era when wingers were gaining fame for their flair and explosiveness, Lucescu was famed for his dependability and level-headedness, qualities that would later prove to be essential in making him the manager he is today.