Liverpool fightback inspires hope in Steaua owner

Comeback kings Liverpool fought back from 3-1 down against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday to reach the Europa League semi-finals after clinching a 5-4 aggregate victory with a stoppage-time winner.


“After seeing what Liverpool did, I believe everything is possible,” the flamboyant Becali, a former shepherd and now a member of the Romanian parliament, told local media.

“I still believe and I’m still doing calculations.”

The title challenge by Steaua, winners of the 1986 European Cup, is hanging by a thread following their 2-0 defeat by leaders FC Astra on Saturday.

Astra, firmly on course for their maiden Romanian title triumph, top the standings with 42 points, followed by Steaua on 36 with only three games remaining.

“Reghe (Steaua coach Laurentiu Reghecampf) said we have only a one percent chance for the title but I think it’s a 10 percent chance,” said Becali.

After Saturday’s defeat the 57-year-old had said he would quit Steaua, 26 times Romanian champions.

“I’m quitting football, I’m done with that,” the disappointed owner told reporters after the match in the Danube city of Giurgiu. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Becali, who was a member of the European Parliament until 2012, is a well-known figure in Romania because of his reputation for straight talking and charity work on behalf of the poor and local Orthodox churches.

After being elected to the Romanian parliament Becali was convicted by the country’s top court in May 2013 of illegally receiving a gift of state farmland from two former defence ministry officials. He served a third of a jail sentence totalling three years and six months.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov)