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PRIDE Soccer Training – Episode 13 – Gheorghe Hagi Part 3

Hello and welcome to the pride of Tulsa soccer training podcast this podcast is brought to you by pride. Soccer training we are Tulsa’s number one program for personal soccer training and soccer player development. In this podcast soccer coach and trainer ONeal bant the founder and CEO of pride soccer training is going to share wisdom insight strategies tools and player profiles and information for success both on and off the pitch. Pride of Tulsa soccer training mission is very simple. Their goal is to help soccer players systematically grow and progressively develop in both character and skill. Pride of Tulsa soccer training helps players achieve their personal goals so that they can win both on the pitch and in everyday life. This is Episode 13 it’s part 3. We’re doing a player profile on the mirror Donna of the car Patriots Georgie Hajee it’s O’Neil’s all time number one favorite player. So I’m going to let him take over how are you doing today. And you can just jump right in here.

Well thank you. Well so in 1994 he took his team Romania to the quarterfinals of the World Cup and they lost to Sweden in penalty kicks but they had a brilliant performance and they almost they would have pulled off that win. They would have gone on to the semifinals and maybe even the finals of the World Cup. So it was a huge deal for a country like Romania to make it to the quarterfinals at that time.

Why is that a huge deal.

Because it’s it’s a country that is smaller and has a lesser population. They actually named his the all the players of his generation the golden generation the golden age of Romanian soccer so it was a huge deal because they hadn’t made it to many World Cups before that are done well. So after after that World Cup he they went to the 1998 World Cup and they made it to the Round of 16 where Crome Croatia eliminated them. And I remember distinctly that game that Hardy had some stomach problems and was stabbed out early. I was like man this might be the last time I got to see him play in the World Cup and it was that I needed him in that area and he was not playing well.

I wonder if he had diarrhea perhaps. I wonder what happened or if he had like some bad meal. I’m always curious about this kind of detail. Yeah that might be your last time seeing him playing. Yes. How do you know that.

I look at the age of players and I knew he was in his 30s at that time and usually around you know the best players around 30 34 they retire and start playing. So your body can only go so far at that level for so long. So 30 you know five years old for a player.

OK so when you saw them get eliminated by Croatia and you’re knowing this might be the last time I want to take you back I know it was probably rough because I know you feel the waves of emotion when it comes to like soccer and World Cup games. I know it really moves you deeply. How are you feeling at that time.

Take us back that I don’t remember being devastated completely. I just remember being sad. But I still had I think Holland was still in the World Cup at the time. And so Brazil was as well. So my my top two countries were were still playing. So I wasn’t too sad. I still have some hope. Yes. I had hope.

I got you. OK well I know. And our previous podcast I think he talked about how you love that he was left footed and you also said that he was great at attacking.

Yes that is correct. He was exceptional at attacking. He just he could he could really counterattack very well knew where players were on the field so sometimes you draw attention to himself and then hit a long ball across the field diagonally for another play to run onto or you would dribble in such a way to bring them close and he’d cut the ball back and play to someone who was over and so he was extremely quick off the dribbling could accelerate past defenders with ease. And often he scored from 20 to 30 yards out. So he was he was like five foot eight I believe. And he was he was quick. So. And the thing about quickness just so you know quickness and being fast are two different things Tulsa Soccer Training.

So really. Yes. OK.

So quickness is more like how quickly can you get up to your top speed. How quickly in 40 yards can you get to your top speed. And some people can accelerate to that. But being fast is how fast can you run period. So you might be able to get to your top speed you know and get up there like 50 yards maybe it takes you to get to your top speed and then the next 50 years you can maintain it.

How long can you hold your fastest. Yes.

OK how long can you but also how fast are you at your top speed. So let’s say you’re human. Run on average 20 mph and someone can run 26 miles per hour so they’re faster than that person. But they may not be as quick as someone who’s not as fast as them.

Gotcha. I know too you were talking about dribbling. This was back in one of the previous podcast how you kind of made that connection with him because he was such a great dribbler and that was also part of your game. And I think you said he was extremely creative in his dribbling.

Yes. What does that mean what does that mean Tulsa Soccer Training.

It means that you’re not just you know just dribbling and running down straight down the line and I think about someone just dribbling down a path and going straight with the ball well instead of just going straight. You have people that are coming in so you’re doing a fake while you’re running as fast as you can and cutting the ball and moving it. And there’s some there’s some facts that are standard fakes that people learn I the Rivoli know the Kroy. But he had his own moves where he would combine someone else’s move and add something to it. That was his or a move that he just created on his own that I’ve never seen anybody do. So he was that creative to do a move that I’ve not seen anybody else use before and make it your own is you have to really be a creative person to do that.

So the beauty of and the creativity and his dribbling is just that he’s moving at high speed down the field. And I know you mentioned you can keep it close. He kept the ball close to him. What would you say is like. What’s the deal with that when you say someone is creative in their dribbling like what does that mean.

They’re deceptive. They are crafty. There is a bit of deceit I guess in it like you lead someone to think one thing and then you’re going the opposite. And this is the only time I can think of in life where this seat it could be a good quality.

But it’s more like Is it a tactical move is it. Is it technique like what is like that.

It’s all the above tactical technical. It’s all in one because you’re not only trying to keep the ball but trying to advance with it. So if you have someone who catches you and you can’t pass them with your speed then you have to use trickery to do so. And also sometimes you’re trying to keep the ball in the game. There’s a concept that Romania had where if the other team has the ball with sorry if we have the ball the other team does not. So you control the game and it sounds it sounds like oh yeah but it really is a smart concept is understanding that if you can control the ball and have it then you’re in control of the game. And that’s the thing that I see how he plays the dribbles to keep the ball to possess it. And then he can attack he attacks if not he possesses.

Tulsa Soccer Training So it all really goes back to this creativity in your game really goes back to your training and your development as a player.

Exactly. That’s true. And the more that you’ve trained the more that you have mastered certain techniques of dropping the ball and dribbling the ball using different parts of your foot like the top part of your foot or the sole of your foot. It all matters on what you’re able to do with that under pressure and you also said that he was really good at set pieces.

Can you quickly just tell us a little bit about that. I know we’re almost out of time but what do you mean by that.

He’s barely had set pieces under pressure and under you know I’ll I’ll give you an example. Under pressure he was trying to qualify for the World Cup 98 World Cup and they’re playing Ireland and he has a free kick about twenty five yards outside the box maybe 20 yards. It’s very windy and the goalie is on his line and Hardy hits the ball in such a way that the ball goes over the wall and dips down into the crossbar and the goalie could do nothing about it. And that’s the goal that won the game for them. So it takes a lot of technique and practice to be able to strike a ball and put it exactly where you want to go on a goal because you have to think about 11 players on the field one of them is a goalkeeper and the other 10 are trying to stop you from getting there. And when you have a wall in front of you and you hit in this free kick you’ve got to get over the wall. So there’s a lot of technique involved in that. And he had pinpoint accuracy.

And so in previous podcast we referenced coach John Wooden who is an all time amazing and winning basketball coach who says you know the importance of practicing and he said that amateurs will practice until they get it right. But they’re professional the person who can play at a high lever level and at a high ability and caliber they will practice until they can’t get it wrong. And so O’Neal thank you for joining us and sharing all these great stories about Hodgy your favorite. I wanted to give a little bit of information about pride of Tulsa soccer training. And before we go because the goal at Pride of Tulsa soccer training is to focus on developing a player’s technical skill their tactical awareness and they’re going to develop your players stamina their character and mental dude so that they can play to their highest level and ability and they can play the game with creativity imagination and inspiration as they achieve their goals. If you want more information about pride of Tulsa soccer training please look us up online pride Tulsa dot com or you can give us a call today at 9 1 8 7 0 1 0 9 8 3. Thank you for joining us and we will see you next time.