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When professionals act like amateurs


A recent interview offered by Italian coach Cristiano Bergodi showed why Romania’s most important club, Steaua Bucharest, “lacks inspiration” when it comes to buying foreign players. Accused that, in the summer, he made bad calls in choosing three players that are now out of favor, Bergodi revealed how he decided to bring in Rafal Grzelak (27), Miguel Angelo Fazende “Tininho” (29) and Krum Bibishkov (27):

“I’ve been informed that the transfer budget was 300.000 EUR and I’ve asked the staff to let me know which were the players followed until then. I got a dozen of DVD’s and was told to whatch and choose. Which I did. The three players were the best I’ve seen and were playing on positions that I considered weak at that time”.

I’m not saying that Bergodi has no fault in the matter, but this is a proof of pure amateurism at one of the richest and presumably best organized clubs in Romania.  In fact, the idea of scouting before wasting money buying disappeared once Adrian Ilie stepped down from the board and, a few months later, Mario Branco, presented in the press (a very discrete presence otherwise) as the club’s only scout, got the sack. Ilie is a huge loss for the club, even though some of the players brought under his guidance didn’t impress, but the former Valencia forward was an elegant figure and really worked on developping the club.

Back to the three players:

  • Bibishkov is a typical centre-forward who didn’t even get the chance to prove himself, featuring only once in half of season, as a sub. Now, he’s on his way out, with Pantelis Kapetanos (interesting fellow, deserves an article later on) the first choice striker and countryman Hristo Yovov ready to sign for Steaua. As usual, club clown owner Gigi Becali says he’s ready to pay the club that will transfer the attacker, just to get rid of the guy.
  • Tininho is a strong full-back, who also has only one appearance for Steaua, 5 minutes, against St. Patrick’s. Unlike Bibishkov, the Portuguese defender at least had enough chances to impress, playing a lot for Steaua II, in the second division.
  • Grzelak is a left footed attacking midfielder, who made a promising and deceiving start, but ended up on the sidelines and doomed not to play again for the club, after Gigi Becali stated that bold footballers are generally poor players. The fact that Grzelak didn’t shave his head after he signed for Steaua is, of course, unimportant ;-). So, Grzelak will probably end his adventure at the Bucharest side after half of season, two starts, four appearances as a sub and one goal. Of course, unless he doesn’t decide to let his hair grow…
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