Yes, Ioan Viorel Ganea, the former Stuttgart & Wolves striker, who also played for Dinamo, Rapid and Politehnica Timisoara, has decided to move up one division and sign for Sanatatea Cluj. This is the club’s first major signing ahead of the Romanian Cup game versus Steaua Bucharest, as “The Green Viruses” (Sanatatea translates into “health”) launched a similar invitation to other big names, with Cosmin Contra, the former AC Milan and Atletico Madrid right back, expected to offer an answer today, once he returns to Romania.
At 38, Ganea has decided to make an attempt to kick out Steaua from this competition on Thursday evening and will decide afterwards if he’ll keep playing for the club that has offered him a monthly wage of, sit down before you read this, less than 50 euros. With 17 goals scored for the national team and 130 for the clubs he has played for, the veteran striker would like to add another one that he’ll remember for years…
Not a single surprising result was recorded in midweek, when 16 teams fought for a place in the quarter finals of the Romanian Cup, a trophy ignorred in recent years especially by the Bucharest sides, although they weren’t very succesful in the league either… Still, there was some serious struggle for big clubs like Steaua, Poli Timisoara and CFR Cluj, with the single praise-worthy performance coming from Universitatea Craiova, who won on a very difficult ground, showing determination and fielding players that were enjoying their chance to play attacking football.
- FC Brasov – Universitatea Cluj 2-1 (Chipciu 5, V. Badea 86 / Lemnaru 52)
- Poli Timisoara – Vointa Sibiu (2nd division) 1-1, 4-3 on penalties (Goga 13 / Bunea 87)
- Dinamo – ALRO Slatina (2nd division) 3-1 (M. Niculae 2, Alexe 8, 30 / Barsan 38)
- Gloria Bistrita – Unirea Urziceni 1-0 (Bruno Moraes 67)
- CFR Cluj – FCM Targu Mures 2-0 (Bjelanovic 32, Sforzini 90)
- Steaua – Sportul Studentesc 1-1, 3-1 on penalties (T. Balan 19 / Latovlevici 72)
- Pandurii Targu Jiu – Universitatea Craiova 0-2 (Wobay 33, Prepelita 54)
- Astra Ploiesti – Rapid 0-0, 0-2 aet (Frunza 93, 111)
- The sixth round of the Romanian Cup was kicked off on Tuesday, with a commanding display from Rapid Bucharest, who should get credit for this results, considering the level of their opponents, Petrolul Ploiesti, currently leading in the second division, with four wins out of four, and a team packed with experienced players and some quality youngtsers. But Rapid looks well organized at the back and can fuel the front men from the wings with so many quality balls that the strikers’ names and form aren’t that important.
- The shock result of the round came on Wednesday, when FC Vaslui lost the momentum gained in the last two league matches (4-0 against Otelul, 2-1, away, at Dinamo), losing in front of ALRO Slatina, a mediocre second division outfit. Lopez Caro, who was very close to find some peace after the latest results, is back in deep trouble, having fielded a strong enough team, which included the likes of Kuciak, Milanov, Adailton and Wesley. Read more…
- Two of the most important transfers made during this winter break are currently on hold. Both Valentin Iliev (29, bought by Universitatea Craiova from Terek) and Gladstone Pereira (25, bought by FC Vaslui from Portuguesa) are awaiting the work permits to be released and sent to Romania, so their presence on the pitch this weekend is in serious doubt.
- International Curtea de Arges has to pay Unirea Alba Iulia 12.000 EUR as a training & education fee for the striker Andrei Zagrean (23), who had moved to Inter on a free transfer, last summer. Unirea had asked for 48.000 EUR, but the Federation decided on a smaller sum, probably due to the fact that Zagrean never played at a higher level than the second division.
- Adrian Markus (17, striker) and Marcel Hering (16, midfielder) will move to Juventus Torino’s youth academy for an undefined trial period. Both players belong to third division outfit Liberty Oradea.
- After the draw that took place today, the Romanian Cup semifinals look like this: FC Brasov – FC Vaslui and Dinamo – CFR Cluj. The first leg should be played between 23-25 March, while the second leg is scheduled between 13-15 April. The final will be played in Iasi, on the 26th of May.