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Miodrag Belodedici (the usual Romanian spelling of Serbian Миодраг Белодедић, Miodrag Belodedić; born 20 May 1964 in Socolmarker) is a former Romanianmarker football central defender.

Nicknamed The deer due to his elegant tackles, he won the European Cup twice, in 1986 with Steaua Bucharest and 1991 with Red Star Belgrade, thus becoming the first player to win the trophy with two different clubs. Interestingly, both of those clubs are from Eastern Europe, and the only Eastern European clubs that ever managed to capture the European Champions Cup.

On 25 March 2008, Belodedici was decorated by the president of Romaniamarker, Traian Băsescu with Ordinul "Meritul Sportiv" — ("The Sportive Merit" order) class II, for his part in winning the 1986 European Cup Final.

Early life / Career in Romania

Belodedici was born in a family of Serbian ethnicity in the village of Socolmarker, near the border with Serbiamarker. He joined the youth squad of Minerul Moldova Nouămarker in 1978, where his first coach was Olimp Mateescu. Three years later, he was selected to play for Luceafărul Bucureşti, a team formed by the Romanian Football Federation for the purpose of gathering all talented young players in the country in one squad.

From Luceafărul, Belodedici was signed by FC Steaua Bucharest, being selected by the club's chairman Ion Alecsandrescu, after a search for an adequate sweeper. Between 1982 and 1988, Belodedici had a rewarding career with Steaua, winning the Romanian championship in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988, the Romanian Cup in 1985, 1987 and 1988, as well as the European Cup in 1986, the European Supercup in 1987, also reaching the Champions' Cup last four in 1987-88.

During this period, Belodedici made his debut for the Romanian national team on July 31, 1984, a friendly 1-0 win over China, playing in 19 games with four goals until 1992. Additionally, he became frustrated in his ambitions to play for Red Star Belgrade, the team he supported in childhood, as the communist regime did not allow players to transfer abroad.

Career in Yugoslavia

In 1988, when the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime was still in power, Belodedici defected from his home country to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker. He later gave an account of his escape to Belgrademarker: once he had seen himself in the city, Belodedici contacted the president of Red Star, but could not get through due to widespread commotion in the team over the team's defeat in the derby with Partizan Belgrade. A Serbian friend attempted to have Belodedici agree to sign for Partizan instead, but Belodedici insisted that he would only play for Red Star. The president interrupted their conversation, and, when he realized that he was in fact the 1986 European Cup winner, he immediately signed him on the team as they were in need of a sweeper.

However, during his first year he had to play without a legal contract, and only in friendly matches, as the Romanian authorities forged his professional player contract, and UEFA suspended him for one year on the basis of data furnished. The Ceauşescu regime found him guilty of treason and sentenced him to ten years of prison in absentia. After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, all charges were dropped, and Belodedici returned to Bucharestmarker.

In 1989, Belodedici was given the green light to play for Red Star and, soon after, became a permanent fixture on the squad. In 1991, he won the European Cup for the second time, scoring in the final against Olympique de Marseille, during the penalty shoot-out.

Final years

After a second European conquest, important European football clubs showed a keen interest to sign Belodedici, and he was sought after by U.C. Sampdoria, but signed with Valencia CF instead, in July 1992. During the period, Belodedici was called to play for the national football team for the first time in four years.

After only two years at Valencia, Belodedici spent one season each with Real Valladolid and Villarreal CF (the latter then in the second division), leaving for Mexicomarker in 1996 to play for Atlante FC. In 1998, he returned to Steaua, and won another Romanian championship in 2001, adding a domestic cup in 1999.

Retiring in 2001, Belodedici worked with the Romanian Football Federation, coordinating national youth teams. As a player, he totalled 53 appearances for the country, and appeared in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, helping the nation reach the quarterfinals, also being selected for two UEFA European Championships: 1996 and 2000.

International goals

Scores and results list Romania's goal tally first. "Score" column indicates the score after the player's goal.

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 4 March 1987 Ankara 19 Mayıs Stadiummarker, Ankaramarker, Turkeymarker 1–0 3–1 Friendly
2 25 March 1987 Stadionul Ghenceamarker, Bucharestmarker, Romaniamarker 4–1 5–1 UEFA Euro 1988 Qualifying
3 8 April 1987 Stadionul Municipalmarker, Braşovmarker, Romaniamarker 2–1 3–2 Friendly
4 20 September 1988 Stadionul 1 Mai, Constanţamarker, Romaniamarker 1–0 3–0 Friendly
5 6 September 1994 Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania 1–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 1996 Qualifying



  1. Sports Illustrated profile
  2. Steaua heroes do Seville service;, 16 March 2006

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