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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Vote with 3, 2 and 1 point the best U20 players in 2019.
Valid players: those born in 1999 and later.

Proposed players:

Tudor Baluta (Brighton)
Vlad Dragomir (Perugia)
Denis Dragus (Standard)
Valentin Mihaila (Craiova)
Olimpiu Morutan (FCSB)
Radu Boboc (Viitorul)
Andrei Chindris (Botosani)
Marian Aioani (Chindia)
Catalin Itu (CFR Cluj)
George Merloi (Clinceni)
Adrian Sut (Clinceni)
George Ganea (Viitorul)
Robert Moldoveanu (Dinamo)
Constantin Dima (Astra)


This voting will close on 18 December.


Previous Winners:

2018 Ianis Hagi
 

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General Iordanescu
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Only one was an integral part (IMO) of the top performance of this year: Tudor Baluta, 3 points.

He also played for the NT and had good performance in Liga 1 in the first half.

I will decide later on the other 2 players.
 

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Ilie Balaci ❤
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Other players: R. Grigore, Matan, Vlad, Munteanu, Micovschi, Dulca, Casap, Baicu, R. Ion, C. Dumitru, Markovic, Dragusin, Sefer, etc.
Although most of them were not regular or even playing at all at times throughout the whole year, and some too young and should do better in the next year. Realistically we will choose from GICA's list, anyhow, just wanted to be a bit more complete :p

For me, the top two have to be 1) Tudor Baluta and 2) Vlad Dragomir.

Baluta is the one that has real senior international experience and has played well and did well with Viitorul, and despite not getting only a cup game for Brighton's senior team, he's gotten some good performances in their U23s from what I've heard/seen. Needs a loan in January.

Dragomir has been pretty regularly starter for Perugia throughout the year, he is their number 10, and although he doesn't have outrageous goals/assists numbers, he's got decent ratings (actually has two assists in his last two matches too). Also a good player for the U21 NT.

For the third vote, it has to be between Boboc, Morutan, Mihaila, and Dragus.
I will decide this later.

I'm leaning towards Boboc or Mihaila right now, the first was very regular throughout the year for Viitorul and was key for them as well as the U21 NT, has a chance to go to seniors under Radoi.

Morutan was injured awhile and Gigi didn't help his progression much either.. but he has obviously had moments of brilliance when he's played. Needs to keep playing more than 45 mins a game though and keep those inspiring playmaking and skillful performances up, maybe pad his numbers a bit as he does so. Will continue to be a key U21 player in the next year.

Mihaila had good moments at the end of the last season too, but most spectacularly showed great improvements this season, with some remarkable goals in Liga I with his speed, intelligence, and technique. Also that huge U21 game where he scored 4 (technically 3 officially), and should have really been 5.

Dragus went from banging goals against Vitesse in EL and playing against Serbia in NL to being dropped randomly some weeks even at Viitorul. He of course had great skills shown throughout the year, but now has faced a tough learning curve at Standard, and even subsequently dropped from U21s. He might finally be getting more chances soon though.
 

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Never understood why Dragus was hyped this fast only because of a few glimpses of talent he showed ...even making the NT...we are bad but Dragus still didn't deserve a call up this early.
 

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Ilie Balaci ❤
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Lol true.. I’d rather have see. Dragomir or Boboc in the NT sooner. Manea was capped at 16 in a friendly vs Albania, mind you, and now he can’t even start for FCSB (though he had a good U21 Euros)
 

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None of our players lives up to his talent so I won't comment on Dragus. His appearence was excellent, scoring in Europe and for Viitorul. This year he had a good game vs Spain and a great one against Denmark U20. Then he became very irregular. We'll see
 

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The problem is our young players regress instead of improving. They loose their confidence easily...

Today I read Alexe was dropped from Arges in Liga II. He looked good 10 years ago...Torje even better, he dribbled at 16, then he forgot how to do it...

Coman is one of the few cases that managed to come back after being lost for a while, amd now seems at his best. Still a long way to go
 

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Ilie Balaci ❤
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I definitely wouldn’t condemn him to Grozav’s type of career just yet... but he definitely has a lot of work to do and needs to have the will to learn. If he does, then I think he might end up ok. Not a world class player, but at least a good one for a top league. He could easily fail but I’m hoping that Standard continue being patient with him (their coach said this was the case anyway) and little by little he gets more first team chances and shows that he learned something to get more.. he needs to work hard to be less individualistic and increase his IQ and his other weaknesses. Technique is pretty much taken care of, for the most part.
 

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I think he's a similar case to Grozav myself... technique that makes him look better than he is. He'll have a 'decent' career in Russia maybe
Grozav produces atleast spectacular goals and numbers from time to time...Dragus just has some fancy skill moves which look nice in a Nike commercial...that said he is still very young so we'll have to wait and see where he ends. Maybe he can surprise us positively compared to other young talents before him. You never know in football...but yeah, my optimism is quite reserved in his case.
 

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1 This year I'd say Baluta is the most regular, did great for the U21 in every game, and was ok for the seniors

2 Mihaila seems like a fair choice, his emd of the year has been spectacular altough on the first one didn't stand out much

3 Hard to say. Chindris with good performances in Liga I and the U21. Boboc not so regular but was in teh last U21 aswell and in teh Euro

Dragomir was stranglely dropped, and his Serie B performances doesn't seem special. Morutan only appeared on this second half of the year after several issues. He can do much better
 

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I definitely wouldn’t condemn him to Grozav’s type of career just yet... but he definitely has a lot of work to do and needs to have the will to learn. If he does, then I think he might end up ok. Not a world class player, but at least a good one for a top league. He could easily fail but I’m hoping that Standard continue being patient with him (their coach said this was the case anyway) and little by little he gets more first team chances and shows that he learned something to get more.. he needs to work hard to be less individualistic and increase his IQ and his other weaknesses. Technique is pretty much taken care of, for the most part.
What's weird and worrying is that for almost 20 years now all our players and talents failed...no matter who, which league, or differences between players...all of them couldn't make it, many couldn't even get games at the start, so many returning from decent clubs in France and other leagues....were their football skills not good enough? but why did they sign them then, they saw them playing before in Liga I....is it a mental thing? but how is it possible that every!!! romanian player can fail mentally....I mean we are talking about grown up men, how hard can it be for every! Romanian player to live in a different country where everything is taken care of for you, even the language will be spoonfed to you with a personal coach....this is really hard to understand how this could happen not once, not 10 times but dozens of times....

South Americans mostly adjust easily to Europe...and we can't adjust to Germany France...when the differences between these countries and Romania are really not THAT big...we are also more used to european weather...
 

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Ilie Balaci ❤
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Grozav produces atleast spectacular goals and numbers from time to time...Dragus just has some fancy skill moves which look nice in a Nike commercial...that said he is still very young so we'll have to wait and see where he ends. Maybe he can surprise us positively compared to other young talents before him. You never know in football...but yeah, my optimism is quite reserved in his case.
Dragus has scored some nice goals and assists too. Remember the rabonna in EL, or the goal vs Denmark U21s? I don’t think he’s just pure skills, but he does act way too selfish sometimes because he thinks a little too highly of himself. He needs to get grounded and learn a lot at Standard. If he does that, I think he might turn out decent. But every chance he fails completely too.. can never tell with our players.
 

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Oh sure i just meant that Grozav offers better/decent scorer numbers (on the other hand Dragus' career is still very fresh, he has a lot of time to change these things)

I hope not being able to make the bench at Standard should be enough to get grounded and be humble and hard working...if not he's the only one to blame...
 

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Ilie Balaci ❤
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I agree, it’s too many failures to be coincidence, and yet it’s a head scratcher to think that it’s happened to all of these different players raised in different parts of the country and at different clubs with very different body types, skills, and even mindsets (even the good-ish mentality players with decent football IQ).

It has to be part of the culture as well as grassroots and the corruption in our football clubs for years. Ever since thee fall of communism, everything was a mess, it was a free for all, nobody was organized or cared to really bring us to the modern level for facilities, development and training techniques, the mental and physical aspects of modern elite football, etc. We’ve been behind for awhile.

I don’t know exactly what needs to change and how, but Hagi’s model is the closest thing we have and even that seems to fail in some cases. What else can we do but rely on him? There needs to be more motivation for clubs to follow a modern path, modern facilities, and take the right steps to prepare for all aspects of the elite level. But how do we do that, how do you make these owners want to invest properly, or even at all? The incentive is low because our football doesn’t generate much money. The best hope we have is the well supported teams make it back to Liga I so there’s more chances we see them investing the way CFR and Craiova do at least, and even that might not be enough.

As for culture, that’s more difficult but then again it doesn’t make sense if Serbs and Ukrainians are able to develop such high quality and elite prepared players.
 

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It's a really hard thing to explain. I doubt there is a decent footballing country with less players in big leagues than ours in the last 10 years...it was already bad in the previous decade and it got worst, cause back then we at least had Mutu, Chivu, Contra, Ganea, Moldovan...but then the cases are more rare every time. The biggest reason I see is that Liga I's style, and romanian players in general, has not kept up with the changes football has gone trough. While other small countries seem to adapt much better. To the pace, strenght, tactics...
As NoName said there are tons of not only argentinian, but Latin American players in Europe, and certainly they should have a harder time adapting to lifestyle, but in football terms their players do well most of the times. Just look at Uruguay, a tiny country, their clubs are not powerful and yet their players do well with some superstars among them
 

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Ilie Balaci ❤
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@TheRumaniac Argentines have a bit of Euro lifestyle and attitude in them compared other Latinos. But still a big difference, you’re right

Look at me, trying to tell you about Argentines :D of course you would know in reality! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It's a matter of trust too. Big Western leagues don't really trust our players. And it's a hard competition now to make you a room in one of those squads. South-American and African players are generally prefered. Now even Korean or Japanese. If these teams have to risk in the market, they'll do it with those players and not with Romanians.

Liga I prices doesn't make it easy either (especially FCSB).
Celta signed Lobotka (Slovakia) and Levante signed Bardhi (Macedonia) after a U21 European championship. Now they are starters there. How many of our players went to Spanish top division after making semifinals? Ianis could do it but he prefered Belgium. Coman and Man have the problem of Gigi asking the moon for them (I think they'll eventually do it to a big league). Craiova asked around 7M for Cicaldau. To the mistrust is added this high prices.

Doing good final tournaments is very important to improve the situation. It will be very important if we qualify to the WC and do some noise there. Maybe in the Olympic games. Romania has to show these countries that she can produce good players too.

Problems of adaptation can explain some cases, but not all.
 

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General Iordanescu
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I'm considering Dragomir, Morutan, Mihaila and Boboc for the other 2 spots.

It's hard to not let the 'fan factor' account in these decisions... Boboc is polyvalent in defense and has been solid but not outstanding. Mihaila is of a younger generation, and has something, a je-ne-sais-quoi, our players usually lack. Morutan is clearly the most skilled, but he doesn't get much trust at Becali FC. Dragomir has his Serie B performances to point to, but Radoi dropping him is a huge question mark. Much harder decision.

OK, here's my final decision, a mix of brain and heart.

Baluta 3p.
Boboc 2p.
Morutan 1p.

Mihaila I expect to win this award next year.
 
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