Vladimir Romanov ‘sacked Hearts boss over Barcelona snub’

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VLADIMIR Romanov sacked former Hearts boss Anatoly Korobochka after the Ukrainian refused to play the Lithuanian tycoon in a friendly match against Barcelona.

Korobochka, a former manager of CSKA Moscow, was kicked out of Tynecastle shortly after the glamour friendly in July 2007.

Two goals from Ronaldinho and a third from 18-year-old Giovani dos Santos gave the Catalans a 3-1 win over Hearts in front of 57,857 fans at Murrayfield, with Juho Makela netting for the Jambos.

Barcelona started the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Ronaldinho, and had Thierry Henry on the bench.

Korobochka said: “We played Barcelona in a friendly match and there were almost 60,000 fans there.

“Ronaldinho was at his peak and [Barcelona] were terrific.

Vladimir Romanov, left, and Anatoly Korobochka. Picture: SNS

Vladimir Romanov, left, and Anatoly Korobochka. Picture: SNS

“Before the game, Romanov approached me and told me he wants to play in the game. He wanted me to pick him. He wasn’t joking.

“I refused and told him he had done no training and therefore he couldn’t play. He said to me ‘fine, but you will not be the coach for long’. He sacked me soon after.”

Korobochka, 60, arrived at Tynecastle as director of football in 2006, before being elevated to manager along with Stephen Frail in a joint arrangement.

Ronaldinho inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win at Murrayfield. Picture: Getty

Ronaldinho inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win at Murrayfield. Picture: Getty