Home > Liga I - Season 2011/2012 > Sportul wins with young, Romanian players. Who would have thought this could work?

Sportul wins with young, Romanian players. Who would have thought this could work?


It’s suicidal! Which, in footballing terms, means it’s the safest path to the second division. Nobody would dare to build an all-Romanian team, with the lowest average age in the first division, before the start of the season and not move a muscle in the three months long winter break spent on a place that yells at you “you’re going down, you fool!”. Sportul Studentesc are doing exactly that – and, trust me, it’s not the first time I’ve seen it! – and in 2012 has three wins out of three, the last one on the ground of the (now former) league’s leaders, Dinamo. They’ve climbed a few places in the standings and have determined a few other teams look at the relegation battle from a different perspective.

Vasile Siman running a profitable business with an unappealing "merchandise": young, unproven Romanian players.

The owner of this team is Vasile Siman, the guy you don’t want to call, if you want one of his players. He’ll slap a 1 million Euros price tag on the forehead of any 19 years old that only played a handful of first division games without blinking. Try to negotiate and he’ll leave you at the table, probably with check to cover all by yourself. So, it’s best to order something light. This strategy has allowed this owner – who rarely buys a player and covers sometimes the often unpaid wages by offering to the squad mobile phones, coats and pickles – to make a huge profit by selling for millions players like Gigel Bucur, Ionut Mazilu, Costin Lazar (all playing abroad now) or George Galamaz. He’s so difficult to discuss with that Dacian Varga could only go to play on loan at Kuban Krasnodar. Twice. Now, the winger who was a regular in a play-off side from the Russian first division is back at the struggling Romanian first division club. And not playing…

Yes, Sportul won 3 out of 3 in 2012 without two of their three stand-out players, Dacian Varga and Costin Curelea (the striker all the big Romanian clubs wanted this winter, but couldn’t afford). The third is Viorel Ferfelea, the fragile number 10 who captained the side against Dinamo, scoring twice in the first three matches of the year. Who are the others? Well, guys like Patriche, Stancu and Farmache are the most experienced in Liga I, after moving through different clubs before returning to Sportul (if I’m not mistaking, Stancu and Farmache were playing in the season when Sportul scared the shit out of the big clubs finishing fourth – a feat which caused so much upset that the club became the first ever to be denied a license for the following season, being relegated!). The others are either recruits from second or third division clubs (Lazar, who offers the assist for the 1st goal vs Dinamo and scores the 3rd, was considered too poor by Petrolul Ploiesti, the club that raised him) or products of a renown  youth setup, which offers poor training conditions, but has the satisfaction of seeing its’ best youngsters immediately offered a chance to shine for the seniors.

The best example? Razvan Popa, who’s only 16 and had started football at Steaua Bucharest, was handed a debut on Sunday. He played less than a minute, but if you ask Siman, he’s worth at least half of million. It’s a crisis, he understands that clubs cannot pay the same crazy amounts as before, but you’d better act quickly, as you don’t want this kid to score his first goal in the top flight… ;-)

About these ads
  1. March 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm | #1

    Sportul finished 4th in 2005/6 season and next season they had to pay 600k$, but Siman didn’t atgree.

    Next season they sold:

    Ionut Mazilu ST 24 Years to Rapid Bukarest 800.000 €
    Costin Lazar DMC 25 Years to Rapid Bukarest 250.000 €
    Stelian Stancu RM 24 Years to Steaua Bukarest 250.000 €
    Eduard Stancioiu GK 25 Years to CFR Cluj 100.000 €

    • March 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm | #2

      Agreed, the problem is that, at that time (and I’m sure it’s not different now either!), approx. 75% of first division clubs had debts and the same problems as Sportul, but none was forced to clear the debt in order to get the license…

  2. March 22, 2012 at 6:46 am | #3

    Another good result for Sportul yesterday :).

    Let’s see today if Vaslui, Rapid and Steaua will short the gap between leaders.

  3. Dylan
    March 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm | #4

    Radu, love articles like this about the less controversial, more forward thinking (than Becali at least) Romanian teams. Good job.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,716 other followers

%d bloggers like this: