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Discussion Starter #1
1. Cristian Chivu
2. Adrian Mutu
3. Marius Niculae
4. Bogdan Lobont
5. Alin Stoica
6. Catalin Munteanu
7. Erik Lincar
8. Florin Cernat
9. Mihai Tararache
10. Razvan Rat
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I don't know many Romanian players, but from the last Euro, I like the way Chivu and Mutu play. They play to win. So I agree with you for the top 2.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
a more detailed look


1.
Name: Cristian Chivu
Current Club: Ajax Amsterdam
Date of Birth: Oct 26, 1980
Position: Defender
Comment: Chivu’s football career is all about surprises. Ajax surprised first when they transferred the youngster last fall from
Universitatea Craiova (Rom I). After a more hesitant start, which included no less than four red cards, Cristian established himself
as the new star of the Amsterdam club. Emerich Jenei, the coach of the Romanian senior team, produced an even bigger surprise
when he decided to include Chivu in the squad for EURO 2000. The decision was vehemently contested by the Romanian press,
which considered the veteran Stefan Nanu to be a more appropriate pick, but Chivu silenced all his critics with his impressive speed
and elegant touches during the finals stage. He featured as a starter in all of Romania’s four games at the EURO 2000 tournament,
and even managed to score a half bizarre half brilliant goal against England. What does the future hold for this young talent? Chivu
said he remains committed to Ajax while the club’s president has declared the youngster ‘in-transferable’, but many think his stay in
the Lowlands will be cut short by the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Internationale Milano and Juventus Torino, all of which are trying
to get his signature. Independent appraisers estimated that Chivu’s value has increased six fold during EURO 2000 to a cool $12
million, making him one of the most expensive defenders in Europe.

2.
Name: Adrian Mutu
Current Club: Verona (co-property with Internationale Milano)
Date of Birth: Jan 08, 1979
Position: Forward
Comment: Adrian Mutu has just finished his first season with Italian giants Inter Milan. He has neither disappointed nor over
impressed. Some, including Mutu himself, say that the team’s coach Marcello Lippi did not show the youngster the confidences he
needed to succeed in Seria A. Perhaps a more relevant issue is the high number of non-EU players at the club. Consequently, Mutu
has often found himself on the bench. Despite this, when he did feature in the staring line-up, Mutu seemed to be well integrated in
the team and was often at the core of Inter’s offensive play. The highlight of his career so far has been his inclusion in the
Romanian squad for EURO 2000. Before the tournament he had acquired little international experienced which had come only form
friendly encounters. Despite this obvious setback, Jenei and especially the veterans Popescu and Hagi showed Mutu plenty of
support. The Galatasaray stars see Mutu as an integral part of the team’s future. Jenei used him as substitute in the first match
against Germany and as a starter in the last two games against England and Italy. He left behind a good overall impression and
showed that besides being talented he is also flexible, playing a midfield role against the English and more attack minded position
against Italy. After Gheorghe Hagi will end his international career, many expect Adrian to take his place as the creative playmaker
in midfield.

3.
Name: Marius Niculae
Current Club: Dinamo Bucharest
Date of Birth: June 15, 1981
Position: Forward
Comment: Marius Niculae must be in winning mood. Just two months ago he won his first Romanian title with Dinamo Bucharest.
Days later he also won the Romanian Cup with them while also managing to score his club’s first goal in the final. Marius has
emerged recently on the football scene. It was only after Adrian Mutu and former Romanian international Jean Vladoiu transferred
from Dinamo that Niculae finally gained a first team place. Despite only playing in the latter part of the season this impressive
striker has attracted plenty of attention, mostly from Seria A clubs. Lecce tried to sign him last winter while attending a training camp
with the Romanian national team in Cyprus. The deal seamed almost sealed, but Niculae refused to give his signature at the last
moment. Since then, the Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport has constantly linked him to Fiorentina, but more recently
giants AC Milan have also shown considerable interest. Dinamo officials deny any sort of talks and state that the player is staying in
Bucharest, but Marius seems poised to spice up the transfer market this summer. Niculae has an impressive physique and despite
his size he posses excellent ball skills and a powerful shot. He found the net on his debuts for both the U 21 national team and for
the senior squad. It was first speculated that Jenei planned to include the emerging talent in the squad for EURO 2000, but he later
opted to rely on the more experienced Ganea and Moldovan. No harm done; at only 18 Niculae has all the time in the world in order
to impress in both Seria A and on the international scene.

4.
Name: Bogdan Lobont
Current Club: Ajax Amsterdam
Date of Birth: Jan 18, 1978
Position: Goalkeeper
Comment: Bogdan Lobont is very close to becoming Romania’s first choice keeper. The former coach of the Romanian national
team, Victor Piturca, used Lobont as a starting keeper on three occasions - including the historic match against in Hungary in
Bucharest - during the qualifying stage of EURO 2000. His successor, Emerich Jenei, also placed trust in the youngster during several
friendly matches, but opted to revert back to veteran Bogdan Stelea during the finals stage. Lobont has recently joined fellow
Romanian Cristian Chivu at Ajax Amsterdam from UFC Rapid Bucharest. The transfer was valued at around $4.5 million - an
absolute record for a Romanian keeper. He played an important role in the winning of the Romanian league last year with Rapid,
and was one of Mircea Lucescu’s favorite players. He’s had few appearances for the Dutch club in the few months he’s been there,
but it is only a matter of time before he replaces the aging Grim.

5.
Name: Alin Stoica
Current Club: Anderlecht Bruxelles
Date of Birth: Dec 10, 1979
Position: Midfielder
Comment: The Belgian press was puzzled when Emerich Jenei chose not to include Stoica in the Romanian squad for EURO 2000.
Alin is regarded as the top young talent in Belgian football where he has been playing since age 16. Until now, he has been mostly a
substitute at his Bruxelles club, but that will soon change. The Swedish midfielder Per Zetteberg was just transferred to the Greek
side Olympiakos while the club’s management and coach said it was their wish that Stoica take over the responsibilities of the Swede
as the creative playmaker in midfield. He is a regular of the U 21 national team where, along with Catalin Munteanu, he dictates the
play in midfield. Stoica has also managed to earn himself a couple of caps in the senior squad. At his club, Alin has been on the left
but he can make his presence known in the center as well. Like most Romanian players, Stoica is a very good technician and posses
a deft shot. He has also established himself as a dependable goal - scorer by finding the net in almost all the matches he played,
sometimes even when coming on as a substitute. In recent interview with the Romanian sports paper ProSport he said that he looks
forward to coming back to the national team in the near future. Last spring he was linked to a move to Ajax Amsterdam, but the
rumors have died off since then.

6.
Name: Catalin Munteanu
Current Club: UD Salamanca (Spa)
Date of Birth: Jan 20, 1979
Position: Midfielder
Comment: Catalin Munteanu is just another fine player from Steaua Bucharest, but unlike most, Munteanu left the club at a very
young age in order to play in La Liga. His club, Salamanca, has since relegated to the Spanish second division, and it seems like the
player is getting irritated with idea of playing at that level for yet another year. Portuguese giants FC Porto said they were willing to
sign the youngster after Salamanca placed most of its players up for sale. Shortly after though, Atletico de Madrid said that they had
signed the Romanian in exchange for $3.6 million and three youths from the Madrid club. His agent, Ioan Becali, stated that
Munteanu has not signed anything yet, but did not exclude a possible move to the fallen giants. Former Romanian national team
coach, Victor Piturca, helped Catalin earn his first caps for the senior squad, but he has yet to manage to hold a stable place there.
As captain of the U 21 team he is without a doubt its most important player. From a technical perspective, Munteanu is close to
perfect. He can also make skillful passes and posses an accurate and deft shot. He only narrowly missed the EURO 2000 this
summer, but there is plenty of time for him to leave his mark.

7.
Name: Erik Lincar
Current Club: Steaua Bucharest
Date of Birth: Oct 16, 1978
Position: Midfielder
Comment: After surprising everyone with the inclusion of Cristian Chivu in the squad for EURO 2000, Jenei produced an even bigger
surprise when chose to also include this FC Steaua Bucharest midfielder. Lincar joined the former winners of the UEFA Champions
League Cup two years ago from lowly FC Corvinul Hunedoara and has since become one of the clubs most important players. He was
a regular of the Romanian U 21 squad, but his senior experience is very limited. He started in several friendly encounters this spring
the most important of which was the one against Holland last May. He was somewhat reticent at first, but with the encouragement of
Gheorghe Hagi, Lincar became more fluid and confident. Although he was one of the four players that did not play at all during the
finals stage, the experience will probably prove to be decisive in his career. Both the Romanian and the Spanish press frequently
link to numerous La Liga sides, but Steaua officials deny any involvement in transfer talks.

8.
Name: Florin Cernat
Current Club: Dinamo Bucharest
Date of Birth: Mar 10, 1980
Position: Midfielder
Comment: As soon as he was noticed, the Romanian press nicknamed Cernat the ‘diamond’ because of his exceptional qualities.
While he was playing for Otelul Galati (Rom I), he was given a central role on the team even though he was only a teenager.
Consistent and brilliant appearances attracted the attention of Bayern Munich and Olympic Marseille, but for unknown reasons they
both failed to sign him. Last winter his agent, Ioan Becali, bought Cernat from Otelul Galati and latter sold him to Dinamo
Bucharest. Florin was received very well at the Bucharest club, but up till now has failed to fully integrate in the team’s playing
system. Dinamo’s coach, Cornel Dinu, was not as easily impressed as the Romanian press was. Although he admitted the player has
exceptional qualities, he also stated that Cernat still has plenty to perfect especially when it comes to defensive play. After Dinamo
veteran and playmaker Ioan Angelo Lupescu failed to come to terms with the club’s management for a renewal of his contract, the
press immediately interpreted this as a deliberate move to get rid of Lupescu and make room for Cernat in Dinamo’s midfield. He is
a regular of the U-21 team and it seems like he is becoming more and more important there. It was rumored that Jenei had plans
to call Cernat to the senior squad, but that failed to materialize. It’s really no surprise considering his tender age.

9.
Name: Mihai Tararache
Current Club: Grasshoppers Zurich
Date of Birth: Oct 25, 1978
Position: Midfielder
Comment: Tararache has proven himself to be a talented and hardworking player at both Dinamo Bucharest, his former club, and
Grasshoppers. He is the former captain of the U-21 team for which he will soon become ineligible to play. Unfortunately, it does not
seem like he will be making the transition to the senior squad yet. Some think that because of his move to Switzerland national
team coaches have lost sight of him. While at Dinamo, which he left two years ago, Tararache was able to earn himself a starting
position at a very young age. Although the competition within the club was not as fierce as it is today, his accomplishment still has
plenty of merit. He was able to reiterate his success at the Zurich where he has become indispensable. Tararache usually prefers a
more defensive role in midfield, but he has been known to contribute to offensive actions and to score goals as well. He is a good
all around player with a promising future. Many hard-core Dinamo fans still miss his presence in Bucharest.

10.
Name: Razvan Rat
Current Club: Rapid Bucharest
Date of Birth: June 26, 1981
Position: Midfielder
Comment: A very talented and promising young player. Although he is a regular of the U-21 team, he has yet to earn a regular
place in the starting lineup of Rapid where he has to compete against players like Ovidiu Sabau and Danut Lupu. The former coach
of Rapid Bucharest Mircea Lucescu used the youngster towards the end of the 1999 - 2000 season in a multitude of positions in both
defense and midfield, and it is not yet certain where he will fit best. The new coach, Anghel Iordanescu, has said that there will be
some changes in the team’s squad before the start of the season, and although he has not yet named specific players he intends
to transfer, it is likely that Razvan will continue with the club. Even before he moved to Rapid Rat was very close to a move to Ajax
Amsterdam, but his former club and the Dutch failed to agree on the proper transfer fee. A while back he declared that he was
somewhat bitter the deal did not go through, but pledged to do his at Rapid and progress from there. Recently he has earned
several caps in the U 21 national team, and it seems like the coach is pleased with hi
 
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