Player(s) of the round
- Aluisio Chaves Ribeiro Moraes Junior – 22 years old, forward, Gloria Bistrita
With no history in similar deals, Gloria Bistrita could have drawn the winning ticket at the Brazilian lottery! The forward, who’s represented by his father, Aluisio Guerreiro, signed a contract until the summer with this small Romanian club, who also kept an option to extend the deal for two more years in the summer, just in case. Well, the case is almost closed, after only three rounds, in which the forward bought from Santo Andre (Brazilian second division) scored three times. The brace from Saturday, against Astra Ploiesti, wasn’t just brilliant (perfect shot from 18 meteres with his right foot + well placed header from 10 meters), but could also prove vital for a team that has a perfect start in 2010. In his last and best game, Gloria’s number 10 played as a second striker and looked dangerous whenever was served ball into feet and had the chance to take on his man. Still, he’s not that effective in taking out his opponent through pace or skill, but rather the type that relies on his ability to invent shots and should be watched carefully in the last 20 meters.
- Sorin Frunza – 31 years old, left midfielder, Unirea Urziceni
If Ronny Levy would have kept his cool until the end of the game, Frunza would have been the man of the match in the victory against Steaua (now he has to give some credit to Kapetanos, at least in the eyes of Steaua’s fans).
His first goal was excellent, a bending shot over the 1,94 m tall keeper, from outside the area, after an intercepted ball deep in the opposition’s half, but his service for Unirea’s second was as good and as valuable as that: Frunza sent a perfect cross from the touchline with his left foot, at full speed and under big pressure from Ovidiu Petre, an assist that Onofras easily turned into what could have been a decisive goal in the 72nd minute. Frunza is an interesting case and one of the examples of what sort of work Dan Petrescu managed to do at Urziceni, which should never be forgotten: he was out of FC Vaslui’s squad, accused of fixing matches against his team by club owner Adrian Porumboiu and sold for almost nothing to Unirea, in 2008. Bought by Petrescu, he played in 25 matches of the campaign that Unirea finished in first place, while this year he’s even more valuable, getting already more starts than he did last year, playing 5 games in the Champions League and the double against Liverpool, in Europa League!
- Valentin Negru – 27 years old, central midfielder, Poli Iasi
Signed in September, the former Rapid and Unirea Urziceni midfielder struggled to make an impact in the first half of season, but this year started really well for a midfielder that a few years ago was considered one of the birghtest prospects in the league. Dan Petrescu even compared him with the best friend, the great Gica Popescu, former Barcelona captain, mainly for his professional approach and intelligence on the pitch. The midfielder failed to live up to those impressive expectations and turned only into a good player by Liga I standards, which he’s starting to show in Iasi, as well, where he already scored two goals in three matches this year. The last one was decisive and brought another three points for a struggling team that is looking better and better under Petre Grigoras, exactly like the Bucharest born player. Negru is feeling very comfortable in the centre of the park, as a box-to-box midfielder, with enough freedom in attack to support the build up and make surprising appearances in the box. Although he might do better than he did at CS Otopeni, where he failed to avoid the drop last season, Negru still seems at least a bit better than the level of the teams chosen in the past two or three years…