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Posts Tagged ‘Alexandru Matel’

Rule number 1 in Romanian football: you don’t mess with the owner!

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Romania’s defense held out in Athens against Greece, with Gabriel Tamas at right back, a desperate, yet effective solution. Normally, we should have seen there Alexandru Matel, the 24 years old who featured in both play-off games against Greece last November, when Romania missed out on a place at the World Cup, who went on to finish another solid season with Astra Giurgiu, winning the Romanian Cup and finishing the league in second place.

Don’t look him up in Astra’s team that managed to take out Slovan Liberec and OL on its way to the Europa League group stage! You won’t find him in the starting line-ups, not even on the bench. You can find him in exile though, training on his own, twice a day, on the pitch of Astra’s abandoned stadium from Ploiesti. He’ll be there until next summer, waiting for the last year of his contract to run out, watching international games go by at a perfect age to play and impress.

matelHe’s 24, fully fit, but after just over 100 games for Astra, still naive enough to think that Ioan Niculae, a rich guy who likes to own business and people, would have said: “well, it’s no problem if you don’t want to renew your deal, my team can still do with the best Romanian right back for another year!”. Well, the problem with most of the wealthy guys is that they rarely regard somebody else indispensable, valuable or at least worthy of respect. Other than themselves, that is…

Well, enough bad things about the owner. With all his faults, according to his version of events, he did meet the exact terms requested by Matel’s agent for a contract extension this summer. A scenario Matel didn’t feel the need to deny, which might just make it real. He prefers to pose as the victim, but it would have been a more convincing picture if he didn’t negotiate for a new deal in the first place. And Niculae, as any other rich guy out there, has the cash to surprise you. Usually, in a positive way. At times, in ways you and your agent might dislike. Because in a story that affects not only Matel, but more people and teams, there’s more than just one bad guy involved this time around…

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Piturca’s choices tackle Romania’s hopes to qualify for the 2014 World Cup

September 4, 2012 2 comments

Top scorer in Liga 1, Raul Rusescu gets a chance to impress for the senior national team.

Romania starts the campaign away in Estonia, a tricky opponent that would be followed by Andorra at home, and a six points tally is a must, before the qualifiers really get going, as Hungary, Turkey and Holland will stand in the way of a performance that’s been missing since 1998.

Victor Piturca – who always begs for a quiet atmosphere, friendly media and devoted, enthusiastic crowds – kicked it off with another debatable selection and a scandal involving FC Vaslui, a club that could & should have sent at least four players, instead of two. As much as he tries, Piturca won’t convince that Dani Coman and Lucian Sanmartean didn’t deserve to be in the team. We have three goalkeepers who are either out of form (Tatarusanu) or out of match fitness (Lobont & Pantilimon), while the argument that on the left side of midfield there’s Cristian Tanase and Sanmartean isn’t needed is a joke and puts the coach in a bad spot. Even if he was only backup, Sanmartean was a great solution on the bench or for the second match, not to mention that he would have offered Piturca the chance to even alter his tactical ideas to include two very good attacking midfielders in the same line-up…

To draw a parallel, it makes no sense calling-up both Bourceanu and Pintilii from Steaua. Bourceanu will start, so why have Pintilii as backup, especially after you’ve criticized him for playing below par since his transfer from Pandurii. But trying to find logic in Piturca’s choices is a waste of time, no wonder that’s exactly what Romania has done in recent years on the international stage.

I’ll end with the classical wish for luck. We’re definitely going to need a lot, if we’re to stand a chance in this campaign…

Here’s the complete squad for the double versus Estonia and Andorra:

Goalkeepers: Bogdan Lobont (AS Roma), Ciprian Tatarusanu (Steaua), Costel Pantilimon (Manchester City)

Defenders: Alexandru Matel (Astra), Valerica Gaman (Astra), Srdjan Luchin (Dinamo), Dragos Grigore (Dinamo), Dorin Goian (Spezia), Vlad Chiriches (Steaua), Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk), Adrian Salageanu (FC Vaslui)

Midfielders: Gabriel Torje (Granada), Adrian Popa (Steaua), Alexandru Bourceanu (Steaua), Costin Lazar (PAOK), Mihai Pintilii (Steaua), Claudiu Voiculet (Pandurii), Alexandru Maxim (Pandurii), Cristian Tanase (Steaua)

Forwards: Raul Rusescu (Steaua), Marius Niculae (FC Vaslui), Ciprian Marica (Schalke), Gheorghe Grozav (Petrolul)

20 names for the Under 21

March 2, 2010 1 comment
U21 Romanian national team coach

Emil Sandoi

Romania U21 will play against Israel U21 on Wednesday, in Tel Aviv, hours before the senior teams will meet in Timisoara. Here is the list of players called-up by Emil Sandoi:

  • Goalkeepers: Cezar Lungu (Steaua II), Silviu Lung jr. (Universitatea Craiova)
  • Defenders: Alexandru Matel (Farul Constanta), Stefan Barboianu (Universitatea Craiova), Cornel Rapa (Otelul Galati), Paul Papp (FC Vaslui), Florin Gardos (Concordia Chiajna), Radu Barbu (Universitatea Craiova), Silviu Ilie (OtelulGalati)
  • Midfielders: Gabriel Torje (Dinamo), Andrei Ionescu (Steaua/Politehnica Iasi), Calin Cristea (Unirea Alba Iulia), Constantin Gangioveanu (Universitatea Craiova), Razvan Ochirosii (Steaua/Otelul Galati)
  • Forwards: Sabrin Sburlea (FC Brasov), Mihai Costea (Universitatea Craiova), Liviu Ganea (Dinamo/Astra Ploiesti), Alexandru Ionita (Rapid), Raul Rusescu (Unirea Urziceni), Ioan Hora (Gloria Bistrita)

    If this is indeed just a test ahead of the next official matches, than coach Emil Sandoi proves yet again a frightening lack of vision and guts! A simple overview points out the following facts: Read more…

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