This came after Hagi starred for Romania in the 1995 World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals, which interested a certain North London club.
Few players can claim to have pulled on both a Real Madrid and Barcelona jersey during their time, but Gheorghe Hagi is one of those players.
The Romanian attacking midfielder, who appeared 124 times for his country and scored 35 goals, played for Real Madrid between 1990 and 1992, before eventually moving to Brescia then Barcelona for two years in 1994.
Hagi revealed that Tottenham actually offered him more money than Barcelona and the midfielder was close to moving to England before deciding on the Camp Nou.
Unfortunately for Spurs, the lure of the European Cup champions and the chance to meet Johan Cruyff was too much for Hagi to turn down. Who knows what he could have achieved in a Lilywhite shirt.
Hagi said: “We’re at the 94 World Cup. It’s that then the one who calls me is Johan Cruyff, who was my idol when I was young.
“Ajax had a Romanian coach, Kovacs, and we followed Ajax. If Ramón Mendoza had come looking for me the first time, the second was Johan himself.
“I had other offers, but I didn’t hesitate. Tottenham offered me more money, I was very close to going to England, but Barca was already the Barca that had just won the European Cup.
“I wanted to meet my idol, talk to him, work with him. Have him close and I fulfilled it. There were also adaptation problems, but possibly he is the one who has taught the most as a player.
“At Real Madrid, I learned to always want to be the best and with Cruyff, the same. It was the mentality of the club and of Johan as a coach.
“At Barca, I also learned a lot about a certain style of play that was the one I liked the most at the time and which continues to be the one I like the most.”
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