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Posts Tagged ‘Laszlo Boloni’

The rise and fall of Marius Niculae

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marius Niculae, back in 2001

Made his debut in Liga I when he was only 15, but already looked equipped to take on stronger opponents, thanks to his father, a former European Champion in judo, who took really good care of the young Niculae. The fact that Sensei Constantin was also a fitness coach with Dinamo also helped, but the young centre-forward soon repaid all the confidence with his constant development. Five years later, in the summer of 2001, he was on his way to Portugal, as Sporting Lisbon was impressed with the 20 years old who had finished the season as the league’s best scorer, with 20 goals. So impressed that they paid a total of 5.3 million Euros, a fee that included a 1.7 million Euros installment fee that should bring back some good memories to the Becali brothers and some of Dinamo’s shareholders…

Under the command of Laszlo Boloni, Niculae was surrounded by top players like Mario Jardel, Joao Pinto and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the fairytale ended a few months later when he suffered a nasty knee injury, which kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. The strong kid, who was ready to take on any opponent, never regained full fitness nor the bravery that had made him famous and – as a friend from the football world once told me – had raised his market value to 10 million Euros, an asking price available at that time for any interested club.

The centre-forward was going to leave Portugal on a free transfer, with a record of 14 goals in 59 appearances, and rejoin Boloni, with the coach willing to offer him a second chance, but unable to save a career that was going to register another two free transfers, to Mainz and Inverness, in the following years. A season high of eight goals in the Scottish top flight finally determined a club to pay something for the player’s services. It was his first club, Dinamo, who came up with half of million pounds and the same old plan. He was going to be the leader of the team, he was going to have all the support to score goals in double figures – Dinamo is an expert in “polishing” players for expensive exports – and he was supposed to help the club at least make some profit, if achieving sporting success is something that the red and white club fails to do for years. Unfortunately for him and Dinamo, the 12 goals scored in 2008/1009 were followed by one and a half seasons of mediocre football and a string of rumors that linked him to exotic destinations. One in particular looked interesting, but Boloni failed to convince Al Wahda to pay one million Euros for a front man who scored 7 goals in his last 36 matches, as part of probably the most offensive team from Liga I.

This winter found the player in a mess. With half of this season’s matches started on the bench and a wage that’s a problem for the club, Niculae is again ready to go. To China, on a free transfer, obviously, where Beijing Guoan are ready to pay 30.000 Euros/month until his next move. Which could be hanging up the boots, unless someone comes to his rescue. The Romanian press immediately thought of the same old Boloni, who just signed for Lens, but Niculae, now 29, is too old to be still living in the world of dream-moves and way too far from his best form to think that he could swap Liga I for Ligue 1. He should be more concerned about saving money rather than hopeful of saving his career…

CFR parts ways with Sorin Cartu, after the Basel episode

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“We appologize for Sorin Cartu’s gesture to UEFA, to FC Basel, to our fans and everyone else who love football and sports, in general”. In spite of the formal backing of the coach which took place earlier today, as club president Iuliu Muresan tried to assure everybody that Cartu will lead the team in the next league match, the expected announcement came tonight and Cartu leaves after just a couple of unimpressive months in charge.

Cartu, showing a ref what punishment he'd deserve for his mistakes

He took over just before the first game versus FC Basel and now leaves after the second encounter with the Swiss side, forced by his inability to control himself and an incredible gesture, which counted more than his struggles to make the team look like a title contenter in Liga I and secure a place in Europa League. This incident doesn’t come as a surprise though, as the coach has a history of similar events, once trying to break the dugout’s glass with his head, when sitting on Dacia Mioveni’s bench, and, only days before the Basel episode, chasing an assistant referee down the tunnel, to punish him for some blatant mistakes which affected his team.

A normal decision by CFR, who was tempted to wait until the winter break, but realized that the club’s image is more important than a couple of poor matches in Liga I and it’s going to be very interesting to see who gets the job, with Laszlo Boloni available…

Make or break time, for both Romania and Razvan Lucescu Jr.

September 7, 2010 2 comments

Romania's probable first eleven against Belarus

It could have been a wonderful start, with Belarus defeating France and Romania sweating working as a unit for a 1-0 win against Albania, but yet another stupid goal from a set-play encouraged everyone to speak up and against the current coach, his poor selection and the mediocrity of the current generation of players. Everyone but the players under Razvan Lucescu, represented with bitterness and his usual class by the team’s captain, a certain Cristian Chivu. The Internazionale defender… defended the young coach – “who prepares games like no one else I’ve seen at the national team” – in front of the press and from attacks that have been launched by the (in)famous agents Ioan and Victor Becali. It’s an oustdanding gesture, knowing that he’s related to the Becalis through contracts and even religious matters, as Victor is his child’s godfather, but one that probably has been forgotten already, as the media’s busy promoting two of the names ready to take over from Lucescu Jr., in case of a poor result in Belarus: Gheorghe Hagi and Laszlo Boloni. In the background, the lobby for Adrian Mutu’s return to the national team becomes more and more obvious and it’s no surprise, given the fact that the player’s ban determined the Becali’s to go for Lucescu’s jugular. Read more…

Becali’s improvising: Ilie Dumitrescu, who was initially asked to be the club’s president, is the new coach!

August 11, 2010 1 comment

Ilie Dumitrescu (middle), working as a football pundit

Humiliated by Victor Piturca and facing the fans’ anger, Gigi Becali had to move quickly and try to please the masses. The initial plan was to convince Anghel Iordanescu, Ilie Dumitrescu (president) and Gheorghe Hagi (coach) to take charge, but Hagi’s refusal to abandon the excellent project at his football academy and return to work for the man that had insulted him beyond excuse forced Iordanescu to retire from the project. Dumitrescu, who had announced his intention to give up coaching earlier this year, becoming a football pundit, didn’t. After a formal attempt to convince Hagi – his former colleague from Steaua and the national team –  to take up the coaching position, the former Tottenham man accepted Becali’s proposal to occupy this role, asking for a symbolic one year long deal of just 1 Ron (around 25 eurocents), hoping to prove that his decision was determined by the love for the club and having more or less the same dream as Victor Piturca: to be Becali’s partner, rather than his always-exposed-to-public-humiliation-employee. Dumitrescu, who’s most notable experience as a coach was a short spell at AEK Athens, was presented today in a press conference by the Steaua’s new president, the legendary Helmuth Duckadam, the keeper who kept out four penalties out of five in the 1986 European Champions Cup final versus Barcelona. Below are the most interesting comments released today:

Read more…

Gigi Becali issues public apologies to Steaua’s fans

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Dayro Moreno (24) has finally been granted the right to play for Once Caldas, after the Colombian side paid the 500.000 EUR transfer fee and received the clearance to use for the first time this season the attacking midfielder, who scored 9 goals in his 44 matches played for the Bucharest side in the Romanian first division.
  • Steaua’s boss Gigi Becali met with the club’s supporters last night and agreed to satisfy all their demands, in order to end a long conflict that seriously affected the club’s image and the team’s results. Among others, Becali had to apologize to all the club’s former great players he has insulted over the years, and that was quite a long list, which included the likes of Gheorghe Hagi, Laszlo Boloni, Gavril Pele Balint, Adrian Ilie. Read more…

“Wonderful” deal for Standard Liege

January 15, 2010 1 comment

The title might turn out to be true, but right now it’s just a word game, because “wonderful” can be translated in Romanian in “grozav”. And Grozav, Gheorghe Grozav to be precise, will move to Liege, in a deal that will cost the Belgian club 350.000 EUR plus 15% of the next transfer fee (but not less than 400.000 EUR!). The forward has already been tested by Romanian coach Laszlo Boloni last summer and proably has been monitorred eversince.

Grozav (19) has been promoted by Unirea Alba Iulia last season and helped the club achieve promotion, playing this year in sixteen out of seventeen matches in the first division, scoring two goals in the proces. He’s a talented youngster, right footed, good dribbling and technique, who likes to play as a winger and joins the coach who promoted a lot Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Sporting Lisbon. Rest assured, I won’t go with this any further ;-).

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