Second place in the league, impressive displays especially at home, biggest chances to win the league according to the bookies. This is Rapid? Well, yes, but not exactly. The club’s problems are bigger than the lack of consistency when playing away, the poor quality of their strikers or the increasing tensions from a dressing room full of players who (think thay they) deserve a place in the first eleven, especially in goal. They surfaced in the press this morning and speak not only of the already mentioned financial troubles, but also of some poor management from the board and a lack of professionalism that had been experienced in the past, at Rapid.
Here’s the list of problems that could affect the team’s performances and results sooner or later:
- the players haven’t been payed for more than two months and were hoping to see some cash after last round’s away win at Sportul; instead, they got yet another promise that this will happen after the derby against Steaua. Which is scheduled almost two weeks from now.
- Brazilian striker Cassio Vargas and the team’s second scorer this season was thrown out of his appartment, as the club failed to pay the rent since August. He was moved with his wife and two kids to another flat, close to his team mates Rui Duarte, Ezequias, Marcos Antonio and Bozovic, where he should follow Rui Duarte’s example, who didn’t wait for the club to pay the rent, as he would have found himself in the same delicate situation as the striker…
- The Portuguese Candido da Costa had the surprise to find his appartment without gas and electricity, problems that angered so much Vladimir Bozovic last season that the Montenegro international left Bucharest and threatened not to return at the club.
“I have to feed my family. I was supposed to send money back home, to Portugal, but I haven’t done that for the past two and a half months” – Rui Duarte, Portuguese full back, bought from FC Brasov this summer
As this is no premiere, Rapid should look beyond the expected financial trouble, which affects pretty much every Liga I club this season, and realize that there’s something wrong in the structure and the work of what was supposed to be one of the best organized professional clubs in Romania. The club’s owner, George Copos, loves to point to the board lead by Dinu Gheorghe everytime something goes bad and has a habit of complaining about the difficulties of running a club these days. Still, he was the one to accept in the first place last summer’s overspending and he was the one to jump for joy at Rapid’s wonderful displays from the start of the season. Staying on the sidelines and waiting for your employees to fail just to say “I told you so” at one point doesn’t look very smart to me. In fact, makes Rapid look like a ticking bomb, watched carefully by a sadistic, self-destructive owner…
PABLO BRANDAN– Unirea Urziceni
- Vladimir Bozovic – Rapid Bucharest
- Laszlo Sepsi – FC Timisoara
- Roosevelt Tavares de Melo “Ezequias”- FC Brasov
- Adrian Salageanu – Otelul Galati
My view: Well, I would have chosen pretty much the same order. Brandan is a complete, mature defender, his versatility is a bonus!, who could make it everywhere. Wanted by Stuttgart in the winter break, he’s now waiting for anothere concrete offer and hoping that Unirea will show understanding, given the fact that he came to Urziceni on a free transfer and acted like a true professional, even when he had every reason to be unhappy. Nice development by Sepsi, who improved while away at Benfica and Santander – we’ll probably see him higher in the standings next season. If Brandan leaves ;-)
My choices: I think Leonardo Veloso deserves to be mentioned, in spite of a handful of appearances for CFR Cluj in the second half of the season. Dinamo’s Pulhac started again to look like a decent player, but the guy seems to have some serious issues and has lost the right moment to move abroad and away from the club that raised him. Something that hopefully won’t happen to Unirea Alba Iulia’s Bucurica (11th place in gsp’s standings!), demanded by several important clubs this summer…
Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.
Unhappy with their current status, Dinamo’s Cristian Daminuta and Rapid’s Vladimir Bozovic asked their agents to start looking for interested teams. Daminuta, who came on loan from Inter’s Primavera, featured only a couple of minutes so far and is anger that even now, when several regular defenders are missing, he’s not being offered the chance to impress and convince the club to activate the buying clause and make the deal permanent. Bozovic, on the other hand, is frustrated at losing his place in the starting eleven, after the arrival of Diego Ciz, who played regularly at left back, locking the Montenegro left wing back out of the team. In the summer, Bozovic will enter the final year of his deal with the Bucharest side.
- After Roberto De Zerbi (30) and Felice Piccolo (26), CFR Cluj signed a third Italian player, in the very last day of the winter mercato. Davide Bottone (23) comes from Torino and will play for CFR until the end of the season. Bottone is a central midfielder, with one cap for the Italian U21, and has the chance to become the first Italian to have played in Liga I, as De Zerbi is stil out and Piccolo wasn’t even on the bench for the match against Unirea Urziceni.
- Rapid announced the signing of Diego Ciz (28), who has a booked flight to Bucharest and is expected to sign a contract until the summer. Ciz, who can play as a full back on both sides, comes as a backup solution for left back Vladimir Bozovic (28), but could become a good replacement for Cristian Sapunaru (25), on the right, in case the ban received in Portugal will keep him from playing for Rapid. The defender from Uruguay belongs to Olimpia and comes in Romania on a loan deal that can be turned into a definitive transfer next summer. Read more…
- Bogdan Mara (32) stayed unemployed for just a day. The experienced winger, recently released by CFR Cluj, signed for Iraklis (11th place in the Greek first division) until June 2011. He’ll get 180.000 EUR per season and will be helped to adjust to the new environment by former Steaua and Kaiserslautern centre-forward Victoras Iacob, while playing alongside footballers like Sam Dalla Bona or Matias Lequi.
- Rapid Bucharest signed Serbian defender Nikola Beljic (25). He rejoins former team-mates from OFK Belgrade, Djordje Ivelja (24, central midfielder) and Vladimir Bozovic (28, left back) and will spend the next three seasons at the Bucharest side. Beljic was in the last six months of his current deal and Rapid paid a 50.000 UER transfer fee to get him now.
- Rapid also announced to have agreed terms with both Ventspils and Edgars Gauracs (21). The striker is expected in Romania tomorrow, when he should sign the contract. The Latvian U21 international comes on loan until the end of the season and Rapid has a buying option in the summer.
- Dinamo Bucharest allowed George Curca (28) to return to Farul Constanta, where he had spent the previous nine seasons. The goalkeeper was on loan until the summer, when Dinamo could have made the deal permanent in exchange of 250.000 EUR.
- Steaua seems to have agreed to sign three players, but only one deal has some sort of confirmation so far: the Bulgarian centre-back Zhivko Zhelev agreed to a 10.000 EUR/month contract and will leave his current club, Otelul Galati. In exchange, Steaua will send to Galati the talented left midfielder Razvan Ochirosii (who was “snatched” from the same club by Mihai Stoica, now at Unirea Urziceni), one of the hottest prospects a few years ago, but who never made it among the seniors at Steaua. Otelul gets rid of a problem and also gets 50% of a talented 20 years old. Good deal!
- The other two Steaua targets: Bulgarian striker Hristo Yovov and Rwanda central defender Edwin Ouon.
- Adrian Cristea (attacking midfielder, Dinamo, 26 years old) has been offered to Kuban Krasnodar for 1 mil. EUR. This is no surprise, as Dan Petrescu, the new manager, has been given complete control over transfers and already announced that will try to sign 5 or 6 Romanian players. Cristea is definitely among the most talented, but has an atitude problem and is a gamble Petrescu won’t make. Same situation with Ianis Zicu (attacking midfielder, Dinamo, 26 years old), although Petrescu already tried to sign him when he was coaching Unirea Urziceni, so has better chances. Anyway, it’s going to be a very good month for agents Victor and Ioan “Giovani” Becali ;-).
- Vladimir Bozovic (left back/left midfielder, Rapid, 28 years old) is a target for a French first division outfit, according to his agent, Zvonko Milojkovic. Rapid is in deep financial trouble and owner George Copos has been trying to sell the club (the German businessman Lutz Stache was the last person interested in such a deal), so raising money from transfers looks like the only option right now. Rapid paid 200.000 for his transfer from OFK Belgrade in 2007, but won’t settle for anything below 1 mil. EUR.
- In case Gigel Bucur (striker, FC Timisoara, 29 years old) leaves to club – an offer from Kuban is expected – the Viola outfit will try to sign the Argentinian Pablo Osvaldo Vazquez (centre forward, Strongest, 27 years old).
- The talented Gheorghe Grozav (forward, Unirea Alba Iulia, 19 years old) is very close to a deal with Standard Liege, where he went on trial last summer and left a good impression. The transfer fee: 300.000 EUR