Well, pretty much has been said regarding Otelul Galati ahead of the huge match against Manchester United, but let me take you back seven years, when the Red Devils were winning on the same stadium 2-1, against Dinamo Bucharest. At the press conference, asked to pick one of the home team’s players that impressed, Sir Alex Ferguson said “the left back”.
The left back was a 25 years old Romanian called Dorin Semeghin, who had moved to Dinamo from Foresta Suceava, after his home town club had managed to stun the Red Dogs by coming back from 0-4 to win 5-4 in Bucharest. Small, quick, gifted with a very good left foot and so attacking minded that he often forgot to defend, Semeghin was famous at that time for his off the pitch exploits rather than his outstanding performances in Liga I. Ferguson’s praise wasn’t going to help him either and he went on to be known as “Semeghin – spaima sticlelor de vin”, which rhymes in Romanian and means “Semeghin – the threat of the wine bottles” in English. He was playing for a red and white club and enjoying both types of wines probably came naturally…
“I now regret that I haven’t made good use of Sir Alex’s praise”, reckons Semeghin for Evenimentul Zilei, where he proudly spoke about the good start he enjoys with his new club, Rapid CFR Suceava. In the Romanian third tier! He recalls shaking the hand of the great manager and is proud to say that even though he didn’t chase any of the players after the two matches, he still managed to get two extremely valuable shirts: one from Ryan Giggs, the other from Paul Scholes.
“I haven’t tasted alcohol in five years, but you have to take my word for it”, says the little player, who is now 32 and heads towards retirement in the lower leagues, after 224 matches in Liga I, with around 60 of them played for none other than Otelul Galati. A team full of individuals that will try to impress in Tuesday’s match. Hopefully, Sir Alex Ferguson won’t praise anyone at the end of it!