Since the year 2000 no Dinamo Bucharest player has donned the number 11 on his jersey. From 1994 to 2000 the number belonged to Catalin Hildan, a Romanian midfielder that passed away from cardiac arrest on October 5, 2000, during a friendly match against FC Oltenita. The Dinamo fans remember Hildan as The Only Captain (Unicul Captain).
Dinamo Bucharest, Barça’s fifth preseason opponent, are one of the two emblematic teams from the Romanian capital, along with Steaua, the team the beat Barça in the final of the 1986 European Cup in Seville. The two teams have dominated the Romanian league and cup over the past couple of seasons.
With a total of 33 titles, Dinamo is the team with the second-biggest trophy haul in Romanian football history. 18 of the 33 titles are league titles, 13 are Cup titles and 2 are Super Cup titles. Only Steaua have won more silverware.
The last title won by Dinamo was this year’s Romanian Super Cup (won three days ago against Cluj in a penalty shootout - 2-2, 2-4). In the match, Tucudean forced overtime and the subsequent penalty shootout with a brace in regular time. Dinamo, reigning champions of the Cup, haven’t won the league title since the 2004/05 season.
One of Dinamo’s historic players is the great Dudu Georgescu, winner of the Golden Boot in 1975 and 1977. His second Golden Boot title was won with an impressive 47-goal haul in the 1976/77 season. Furthermore, another figure that’s well known to Barça fans, the current manager of Shakhtar Donetsk Miracea Lucescu, made his football debut for Dinamo.
Georgescu’s incredible goalscoring record wasn’t broken until Leo Messi scored 50 goals in La Liga in the 2011/12 season, which earned the Argentine his second Golden Shoe award.
A manager that was at Wembley
The manager of Barça’s fifth preseason opponent has a past that is curiously linked with FC Barcelona. The Italian Dario Bonetti was on the Italian team’s bench in the 1992 Champions League final in Wembley. Bonetti plied his trade with Sampdoria that season, but he didn’t feature in the championship match. His brother Ivano, however, did play against the Azulgranas. Ivano featured in the starting line-up and was subbed out before the first half of overtime.